BBQ Octopus

I’m sure that you have heard that the Mediterranean diet is an incredible way to eat.  It is wonderful for your heart and body overall.  As we all start to ween ourselves off of the winter eats of rich food in preparation for summer bathing suits, you may want to look at eating more like they do in the mediterranean.  A diet rich in veggies, fruit, legumes and seafood is bound to shrink the waist and cleanse your arteries from all the cheese and fried foods.

One very beautiful dish that is popular all of the Mediterranean is octopus.  Yes, it may be something that you don’t naturally think when you decide on barbecuing, but octopus is off-the-hook when done correctly.  Some of you may think, “Doesn’t it taste like rubber?”  My answer is “NO!”  It is delightfully tender, succulent and buttery sweet when done well.  So, your question may be, “What’s done well?”  Simple!  Braised and then cooked over an open flame!  Sounds fancy, right?  Good news is that it is actually simple. Gotta love a simple and delicious way to make you look like a home chef star!

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The essential key to making great octopus is braising.  That is just a fancy term for cooking the octopus in liquid until it is tender.  Empty your bottle of wine into a large pot, add the rest of the ingredients plus the octopus.  Fill the pot with water until the octopus is just covered.  These little guys will want to float, but the key is to keep them fully covered by the liquid.  A handy trick is to take a plate and rest it on top of the octopus…it will keep them right where they need to be, under the liquid.  And then, that’s it.  Let them simmer away for a couple of hours until the legs are tender enough for a sharp knife to slip easily into the flesh.

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The next step is to let them cool enough to handle them easily.  Now it is time to chop their heads off and then gently rub the skin off of the body and tentacles….here is where you get to muster your inner strength and not get squeamish.  You want to be super careful to not rub the suction cups off, though….they will get delightfully crispy on the BBQ and are my favorite part!  Once they are all skin-free, they will almost look like a brittle star (a skinny legged starfish).  Now, just coat them in olive oil and throw them onto the fire.

 

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This is the FAST part.  It only takes a couple minutes per side to make these octopi gorgeous.  I always BBQ them whole because they are so much easier to flip.  After the BBQ, you can cut the tentacles up for serving.

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I served mine with a simple romescu sauce and an Italian salsa verde.  Delicate sauces that are veggie forward work great with octopus.

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I particularly liked the vinegar base of each of these sauces as it paired well with the buttery sweetness of the octopus.  But, a fresh squeeze of lemon would be perfect as well! I hope I demystified octopi for you.

Get a little daring in the kitchen!

xoxo,

Chanda

Photo cred: Self and Cameron Ingall’s Photography (for the good pix 😉 )

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BBQ Octopus

A delightfully tender, succulent and buttery sweet way to BBQ some octopus for a heart healthy treat!

Course: Appetizer, entree, Gluten Free, Main Course, Seafood, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4 people
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs octopus
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 2 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 7 cloves garlic
Instructions
  1. Empty your bottle of wine into a large pot, add the rest of the ingredients plus the octopus.  Fill the pot with water until the octopus is just covered.  These little guys will want to float, but the key is to keep them fully covered by the liquid.  **A handy trick is to take a plate and rest it on top of the octopus...it will keep them right where they need to be, under the liquid.  And then, that's it.  Let them simmer away for a couple of hours until the legs are tender enough for a sharp knife to slip easily into the flesh.


  2. The next step is to let them cool enough to handle them easily. Now it is time to chop their heads off and then gently rub the skin off of the body and tentacles


  3. You want to be super careful to not rub the suction cups off, though. Once they are all skin-free, they will almost look like a brittle star (a skinny legged starfish). Now, just coat them in olive oil and throw them onto the fire.


  4. This is the FAST part. It only takes a couple minutes per side to make these octopi gorgeous. I always BBQ them whole because they are so much easier to flip. After the BBQ, you can cut the tentacles up for serving.

 

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