Saturday, 22 October 2011
The other side... of the octopus...
After gathering advice from the more experienced cooks in the family, it was time for octopus attempt #2 with the remaining half. Advice and directions were as follows.
There are two types of octopus, the chunky ones and the baby octopus. We had a large octopus, which one must first freeze for around 3 weeks, then defrost and boil for 30 to 40 minutes, and finally cut up and fry 15 minutes in some olive oil, loads of garlic, rosemary, marjoram, mint, and mixed herbs.
This was an improvement in texture from last time – the body especially was very tender. The legs were still a little bit chewy. I suppose the quality and freshness of the octopus purchased do play a part in the final result. We bought ours from a bowl of ice in Borough Market, not a Mediterranean seaside fish market. Nevertheless, the flavour of octopus is always perfect with some spaghetti, or potatoes. Since I hate deep frying I didn’t feel like making chips, so I boiled the potatoes, then peeled and shallow fried them in some vegetable oil and garlic. Much simpler, and in my opinion, much softer and nicer than chips.
(What on earth is one meant to do with all the oil left over from deep frying? I once watched a documentary demonstrating the trouble of some poor guys who had to clean up the London sewer walls from several feet of grime build-up resulting from all the cooking fat discarded down the drain. It was so disturbing!)