Monday, April 18, 2011
Well, except for the octopus and the pasta, getting everything for this dish was easy.
The octopus was sort of easy. Almost. This dish calls for a pound of baby octopus. I was doubling the recipe for a dinner party, so I needed two pounds. I went to IC Sharks and saw that they had baby octopus right in the case. I told the lady that I needed two pounds, and she pointed me to the freezer case, because they didn't have two pounds thawed. Not a problem, it'll thaw fast, and it wasn't like any octopus I was going to buy hadn't been in the deep freeze at some point, anyway.
So I go to the freezer and grab two plastic bags, each purportedly holding one pound of baby octopus.
It was just a big ball of purple at that point, so there was no reason to presume that there weren't several teeny octopi in there, waiting to be thawed. When I got home, I put them in some water to thaw them quickly. The more they thawed, the more I realized one thing: There was only one octopus in each bag.
And I can't believe I didn't take a photo of the thawed octopus.
The recipe had a contingency for a larger octopus, so I dealt with it, but I was sort of disappointed. The photo in the book looks really cool with the little octopus on top of the pasta. Sigh.
Also, the pasta.
I looked a lot of places and couldn't find any stinking bavette. The descriptions made it sound like it was basically linguine, possibly a bit thinner. If I had had more time, I would have made my own linguine, possibly a little thinner, but I had no time. So I stopped in at Mazzaro's and bought some fresh linguine. Sigh II.
Cooking the bigger octo meant cooking it a little longer. The recipe calls for it to be boiled in water with a little vinegar and a wine cork (something about enzymes). I used a cork from a bottle of 2008 La Mozza, but I'm sure that any cork would suffice.
(Note: Don't use any of you favorite, souvenir wine corks in this recipe. It gets all purple and bloated. Unless you want your favorite souvenir wine cork to get purple and bloated. In which case, this is how you want to do it. Or am I the only one with souvenir wine corks? If so, nevermind.)
The sauce went together with basic tomato sauce and jalapeno pesto.
This was my first time making octopus, and since I was a little off the reservation in terms of the recipe, I wasn't sure how to cut it for serving. I knew you can eat the legs, so I cut those off and threw them in the pan. I wasn't as sure about the body. I felt like I've heard there is something you have to take off, and I had no time to research, and no one knew. So we just at the legs.
And they were delicious. The whole dish was. Truthfully, the two octopus dishes in the book were things that I was planning on just sort of getting through, but I liked this a lot. Enough that I might try to make it again.
With baby octopus. And bavette.
Here is the final dish. I didn't lead with this photo because the plate is a little sloppy. This was a middle course of a big night, and i must have gotten sloppy. That and I was disappointed that I couldn't replicate the photo in the book because I didn't have baby octopi. Sigh III.
Up next: osso buco