Intensive Advanced 2

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Advanced 2. Video: Octopus, Galician Style

Here you are. Enjoy!!
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Octopus, Galician style
Some people are creeped out by octopus. I don’t get it. Others worry about eating them because they’re so intelligent, because –after all— they’re more intelligent than dogs. But of course so are pigs, and chickens, and maybe even grapes.
So this preparation is from Galicia, the Northwestern part of Spain. One of the most beautiful places in the world. One of the places with the best seafood in the world and certainly the place in the world that is most obsessed with octopus. The only place I know where there are “pulperías”, octopus restaurants.
Now, you can cook the octopus whole. Just put it in the water like that and that’s what they do in Galicia, but I wanna make it a little more accessible, something that people really enjoy and don’t go ugh ‘cause that drives me nuts.
One thing I do is I take off the little ends of the tentacles. Octopus shrinks a lot when it’s cooking so these wind up looking like little unattractive threads. So we get rid of those first.
It’s kind of like slimy dreadlocks. Anyway, I don´t cook the head either. I do when I’m cooking myself but I don’t for guests ‘cause, like I said, I wanna make this accessible. So, here’s a nice way to deal with this. There’s webbing at the top of each of the legs. Cut up through that, just to the base of the head on either side and then cut right here. This serves eight, right. Octopus. So, again, cut up through that webbing, cut across the top. All right. Here we go.
We have our beautiful trimmed octopus, we have our pot of lively boiling water. We’re gonna salt it quite heavily. (It’ll) be really good if you cook this in sea water. And then, in they go.
Once they’re in, turn the heat down, and I keep the heat low; you just want a slow simmer, 212 degrees. Generally takes an hour to an hour and a half for an octopus to become tender; so we’ll come back in about an hour and take a look at it then.
It’s ready and I’m gonna show you how we know it’s ready. Look how much that’s shrunk. Not much effort to put the point of the knife in there. So, when it gets to that point, take some potatoes, cut them really thick, good half-inch thick.
I’m gonna cook those potatoes chunks about what? 15 minutes, 20 minutes, until they’re good and tender. And that’s the dish. Well, there’s a cool way of serving it, which I’ll show you when we’re ready.
Twenty minutes later, as I promised, the potatoes are done. The octopus is obviously no less done. And here’s a typical Galician serving style. A couple of pieces of “pulpo”, a fair amount of olive oil (good olive oil), a sprinkling of “pimentón” (Spanish smoked paprika), a few grains of coarse salt (“fleur de salt”, flower of the salt).
Why would anyone be afraid of this? Now, that’s eating smart.


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