Learn Spanish cooking from Simone and Inés Ortega in their classic cookbook, 1080 Recipes, featuring Octopus with Paprika Pulpo con Pimenton; Partridges with Grapes Perdices con Uvas; Sepulvedana Roast Lamb Cordero Asado a la Sepulvedana; and Catalan Cream Crema Catalana.
Pulpo con Pimenton
Octopus must be tenderized or it can be tough. It is sold fresh or frozen; the frozen is usually pre-cleaned. If you buy it fresh, to make sure that octopus will be tender enough, freeze it for up to 2 weeks. With either one, when you are ready to cook it, put the frozen octopus straight into boiling water and cook for about 35 minutes, until tender. The time will depend on the size and tenderness of the octopus. Alternatively, pour plenty of water into a pressure cooker, add a bay leaf and a piece of onion, and bring to a boil. Add the octopus, cover, bring to high pressure, and cook for 15 minutes. Let the pressure cooker cool completely before opening it. The following is a more classic way of cooking octopus: clean and rinse the octopus and prick it all over with a fork. Bring a large pan of water to a boil with a bay leaf and a piece of onion. Add the octopus and cook for 1 minute, then remove it from the pan. When the water comes back to a boil, add the octopus again for 1 minute. Do this three times in a row, leaving the octopus to cook for 45 minutes the last time. Drain the octopus and rinse under cold running water.
Prepare and cook the octopus (see above). Drain well and rinse under cold running water. Remove and discard any remaining dark stain and cut the meat into small pieces with kitchen scissors. Place the pieces in a bowl, pour the oil over them, season with salt if necessary, and sprinkle with hot paprika to taste. Mix well to ensure the octopus is thoroughly coated and serve immediately. If this is not possible transfer the octopus to a heatproof bowl, cover with aluminum foil, and keep warm in the oven.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon and discard. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in sweet paprika to taste. Add the flavored oil to the octopus pieces, mix well, and serve immediately.
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This page created November 2007
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