Grilled Spanish octopus recipe

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  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


For Sofrito
  • ½ cup quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans plum tomatoes, drained from the liquid
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
For Salsa Verde
  • 1 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 tablespoons roasted garlic
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tablespoons Marcona almonds
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For Fingerling Potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped bacon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Spanish onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 16 fingerling potatoes, a little smaller than thumb-size
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 quart chicken stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
How to Make It
    For Sofrito
  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepot set over medium-low heat, add the oil, salt, and onions. Stirring frequently, allow onions to caramelize until very deep golden brown, about 1½ hours. Add the canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer, stirring well to incorporate. Turn heat to low and simmer uncovered for an additional 1½ hours. Add the garlic and the chili flakes. Remove from heat and purée mixture, in batches, in a high-speed blender. At this point, you can cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  2. For Salsa Verde
  3. Blanch the parsley and basil in rapidly boiling water for 2 minutes and then plunge into ice water to stop cooking and preserve the color. Squeeze out all of the excess water. Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. At this point, you can refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  4. For Fingerling Potatoes
  5. In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, over medium heat, render the bacon until almost crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and simmer uncovered, until the potatoes are just tender or when a toothpick will pierce with little resistance about 10 minutes. Check frequently to prevent overcooking. Remove the potatoes from the broth. Set aside to cool. You may cool the broth, keep refrigerated, and use for another application within 3 days. Once cool, take the fingerling potatoes and flatten them with the palm of your hand so they look smashed. Fry them in a deep fryer set to 350°F or in a large heavy-bottomed pot of canola oil, fitted with a thermometer. When the potatoes are golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes, remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels, reserving for the finished dish.
  6. For Octopus
  7. Rinse the octopuses thoroughly. Season both of them liberally with salt and pepper. To each bag, add 1 octopus, 1 lemon half, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 smashed garlic clove, and ¼ cup of olive oil. Seal the bags in a vacuum seal and shake thoroughly to distribute ingredients. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1½ to 2 hours.
  8. Set an immersion circulator to 195°F. When the water is up to temperature, place the bagged octopuses in the water bath and circulate for 5 hours. Remove the bags from the water and allow to rest, just until cool enough to handle. Remove the octopuses from the bags, discarding the liquid. Using a kitchen towel, gently slide the tentacles off of the octopus legs (optional). Remove the legs from the octopuses, discarding the heads or reserving for another use. Once the octopuses are cleaned and cool, marinate them in the Sofrito for at least one hour.
  9. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Place your marinated octopus on the grill and grill on one side until slightly charred, about 3 minutes. Turn the octopus and repeat on the other side. Remove the octopus from the grill and set aside.
  10. To Complete
  11. In a large sauté pan coated with a thin film of olive oil, set your chorizo over medium heat and cook until deep brown and caramelized, flipping the pieces halfway, about 1 minute each side. Add the piquillo peppers, Fingerling Potatoes, green onions, and Octopus. (Note: You can use the saucepan used for the earlier steps of the dish. It’s good to let the flavors meld together and makes it easier to plate up.) Turn heat to low and lightly toss until everything is heated through. On a large oval platter, spoon a generous helping of the Salsa Verde, spreading the sauce from one end of the plate to the other. Add the Fingerling Potatoes, chorizo, and peppers. Place the Octopus on top of that. Evenly distribute the green onions and preserved lemon on top of the Octopus.

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