Grilled octopus with baby potatoes, baby aubergines and smoked paprika

“If you’ve lost your appetite today, I think I have it!”

Ordering food at a restaurant, there are several ingredients that always draw my attention. One of them is octopus. I love it in many shapes and forms, yet grilled octopus wins over everything else! I must admit I had tried quite a few times to get it right. But you know – pretty much the same way, how I go about assembling a piece of furniture or trying out a new appliance – why read the instructions, if you can go with trial and error first? Needless to say – I didn’t consult with any of the cookbooks or all those well known chefs, who definitely know how to get octopus right.

I have nailed this sea creature very well with sparkling wine and sun dried tomatoes. Grilling was a different story though. So – come last Saturday afternoon, breathed in a bit of patience, ignored all temptations to handle the octopus “on my own” and consulted Mr (or Mrs) Google. Et voila! Apart from all other means tried previously, decided to cook it in white wine for a lengthy period of time and it worked perfectly!

When I am in Greece of Spain, I overindulge in grilled octopus big time. No need to go far anymore (already browsing for a new grill for the upcoming season).

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg octopus
  • 1+ bottle of dry white wine
  • 1 garlic
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
  • baby potatoes
  • baby aubergines
  • smoked paprika
  • olive oil
  • salt’n’pepper

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot, add octopus and cook it over moderately high heat a few minutes a side. Remove octopus from the pot. Add chopped garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook it a minute or 2, until garlic becomes tender. Pour the white wine and bring it to a simmer. Bring back the octopus, cover and cook over moderate heat for 1 hour 30 minutes. Make sure the eight legged creature is covered in liquid. If needed, add a cup of water or “waste” a bit more of the white wine.

Remove octopus from the pot, let it cool completely and using a paper towel remove the purple skin, carefully handling the suckers – you want them on.

In the mean time, cut baby potatoes and baby aubergines in half. Sprinkle with salt and smoked paprika and fry in separate pans until cooked. Potatoes will, naturally, cook longer, so you may leave the aubergines for last. Once the veggies are done, dust the octopus with smoked paprika, add salt and some pepper, if desired. Through it on a hot grill and give it a minute or two a side, until charred.

Serve with potatoes and the aubergines. Enjoy! I did. A lot :). Sand praise (in my head) that now I have a new favourite for the new grilling season.

I love eating food with fingers. This it the kind of food that works perfectly for it! Especially when eating with that very special someone!

P.S. (I do behave in restaurants most of the time though…)

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Bon appetit!

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