COLLECTION: Octopus recipes

From: (Peter Ryall)
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 09:46:14 +0100

A Taste Of The Greek Islands by Pamela Westland.

                   OCTOPUS IN RED WINE (Htapothi krasato)

this one's REALLY good ...
1kg (2.25lb) young octopus
8tbsp olive oil
350g (12oz) small onions or shallots
150ml (0.25pint) red wine
6tbsp red wine vinegar
225g (8oz) canned tomatoes, roughly chopped
2tbsp tomato puree
4 bay leaves
2 tsp dried oregano
black pepper
2tbsp chopped parsley

First clean the octopus.  Pull off the tentacles, remove and discard
the intestines and the ink sac, the eyes and the beak.  Skin the
octopus and wash and scrub it thoroughly to remove any traces of sand.
Cut it into 4-5cm (1.5-2inch) pieces and put it into a saucepan over
medium heat to release the liquid.  Stir the octopus until this liquid
has evaporated.
Pour on the oil and stir the octopus to seal it on all sides.  Add the
whole onions and cook them, stirring once or twice, until they colour
Add the wine, the vinegar, tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaves, oregano
and several grindings of pepper.  Stir well, cover the pan and simmer
very gently for 1-1.25 hrs, checking from time to time that the sauce
has not dried out.  If it does - and this would only happen if the
heat were too high - add a little more wine or water.  The octopus is
cooked when it can be easily pierced with a skewer.
The sauce should be thick, like a runny paste.  If any of the liquid
separates, remove the lid from the pan, slightly increase the heat and
stir until some of the liquid evaporates and the sauce thickens.
Discard the bay leaves and stir in the parsley.  Taste the sauce and
adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serve, if you like, with rice and a salad.  A Greek essential is
country bread to mop up the sauce.



                      PICKLED OCTOPUS (Htapothi toursi)
an excellent meze ...

1kg (2.25lb) young octopus
about 150ml (0.25pint) olive oil
about 150ml (0.25pint) red wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic
salt and black pepper
4-6 stalks thyme or 1tsp dried thyme
lemon wedges, to serve

Prepare and wash the octopus (as in Octopus in Red Wine).  Place the
head and tentacles in a pan with 6-8tbsp water, cover and simmer for
1-1.25 hours until it is tender.  Test it with a skewer.  Drain off
any remaining liquid and set aside to cool.
Cut the flesh into 12mm (0.5inch) strips and pack them loosely into a
screw-topped jar.  Mix enough oil and vinegar to fill the jar - the
exact amount will depend on the relative volumes of the seafood and
the container - stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
If you are using dried thyme, mix it with the liquid at this stage.
Pour it over the octopus, making sure that every last piece is
completely immersed.  If you are using thyme stalks, push them into
the jar.
Cover the jar and set it aside for at least 4-5 days before using.
To serve, drain the octopus and serve it on small individual plates or
saucers with the lemon wedges.
Cubes of at least one-day old bread, speared on cocktail sticks, are
the usual accompaniment.



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