Friday, June 24, 2011

Marinated Baby Octopus

Baby octopi. Yum!  When we lived in Brazil, one of our favorite appetizers when we went out to eat was tender octopus, seasoned with garlic and dripping in olive oil.  This is my best guess of how it was done because the taste, it's pretty close.

5 lbs or 2.25kg baby octopus, ink sacs and beaks removed

1 cup or 240ml red wine - a perfect use for any old leftovers
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
A good glug of olive oil, plus more later for frying
2 crushed cloves of garlic (or more if you like garlic - we do!)

Salt to taste - often the octopus is salty enough

Put the first five ingredients in a Ziploc bag and leave until you are ready to cook but at least half an hour.


Dump the whole lot into a thick bottomed pot with some more olive oil. Cook over a medium heat, covered, for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid will come out of the octupi and the whole thing will look very soupy. 

After the 15-20 minutes are over, take the lid off and continue to cook until the liquid gradually diminishes and you are left with just the octopi, which should be getting a bit sticky. 

(This step could take as long as half an hour.) Add more olive oil so that you are kind of pan-frying the octopi and keep at it, stirring constantly at this point until they are almost completely dry. 

I then turn the whole mess out onto a large cutting board and cut the octopi into small pieces then put them back in the pot to keep warm until you are ready to eat. Here's where you can add a little salt, if the octupi need it. I suppose you could leave them whole if you have the itty-bitty bite-sized ones, but mine were way too big to eat whole.

I promise you that if you have adventurous eaters at your house, they eat this! The pot was half empty before we were ready to serve because people kept taking the lid off and pinching pieces out. Even the kids!

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