Kapnos octopus recipe

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  • Yield: 5 to 6 Servings

Ingredients

For Large Octopus
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large octopus, 6–8 pounds
  • 1 ounce red wine vinegar
For Baby Octopus
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 baby octopus, 1–1½ pounds
  • 1 ounce red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
For Grapefruit Cells
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 cup olive oil
How to Make It
    For Large Octopus
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place peppercorns, star anise, coriander, fennel seed, allspice, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie the cloth tightly with a piece of string, making a sachet. Take large octopus, cut off all tentacles, and throw away head. Once the head is cut off, you’ll see the circular beak directly in the middle of the octopus. Remove beak. Add sachet, red wine vinegar, and octopus to hotel pan and cover with aluminum foil. Place hotel pan in oven and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until no chewy bite is left. Line a terrine mold with plastic wrap and stab a few holes in plastic wrap. Once cooked, remove octopus from braising liquid and stuff into the terrine mold. Be sure to pack in as many octopus tentacles as possible. Then place mold in the refrigerator and place a large, weighted object (like a gallon of milk or a case of beer) on top of the mold, making sure it pushes all the tentacles down into the mold. Allow the terrine to press for about 6 hours, until octopus completely cools down. Once cooled, wrap in plastic and freeze in freezer overnight, until completely frozen.
  2. For Baby Octopus
  3. Place peppercorns, star anise, coriander, fennel seed, allspice, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie the cloth tightly with a piece of string, making a sachet. Cut head off of baby octopus and throw in trash. Once the head is cut off, you’ll see the circular beak directly in the middle of the octopus. Remove beak. Place octopus into a small pot with your sachet of spices, vinegar, and water. Place into oven at 350°F and check after 30 minutes. The only way to find out if it is cooked is by biting it: Octopus should be tender and chew easily. Allow octopus to cool and set aside.
  4. For Grapefruit Cells
  5. Supreme the grapefruit. Place in bowl. Heat oil in a pan to 300°F, then pour the oil over the grapefruit. Constantly stir the grapefruit, causing the cells to break apart. Strain into chinois.
  6. For Vegetables
  7. Place sugar, vinegar, and water into a pot. Bring to a boil. Place pearl onions in a bowl or plastic container. Once pickling liquid is boiling, pour onto onions. Allow the onions to cool down in liquid at room temperature. They can be left in pickling liquid until ready to use. Fill a medium-size pot with water and bring to a boil. Place sea beans into boiling water for about 10 seconds. Immediately remove sea beans from water and submerge into ice water. Cooking the sea beans is mainly done to remove impurities and to bring out the bright green color. The texture will still have a little bite to it. Peel and cut cucumbers in a baton shape. Thinly slice chilies with a sharp knife. Thinly shave fennel with mandoline.
  8. To Complete
  9. Remove Large Octopus terrine from freezer. Slice octopus with a meat slicer very thinly and lay onto plate very flat. It’s important that the Large Octopus terrine is frozen solid. Brush olive oil on top of the sliced frozen octopus; then apply a thin layer of Grapefruit Cells. Take the braised Baby Octopus and cut tentacles apart. Preheat a large sauté pan coated with oil on high heat and char the Baby Octopus tentacles. Be sure to rotate tentacles to char completely. Add cucumbers, Fresno chilies, fennel, pickled onions, sea beans, and dill into a bowl with lemon juice. Toss the salad with charred Baby Octopus. Place salad and Baby Octopus onto the middle of the thinly sliced Large Octopus terrine. The terrine is meant to be cold and the Baby Octopus is to be eaten hot.
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