Showing posts with label octopus recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label octopus recipes. Show all posts

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Grilled Octopus with Spinach and Smoky Beans

This grilled octopus with spinach and smoky beans will seduce you with the tenderest octopus atop melt-in-your-mouth white beans. Serve as an appetizer or main dish. 

Food Lust People Love: This grilled octopus with spinach and smoky beans will seduce you with the tenderest octopus atop melt-in-your-mouth white beans. Serve as an appetizer or main dish.

Ten years ago, almost to the day, our eldest daughter graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. We celebrated with dinner at a local restaurant named B├ícaro, specializing in Italian fare. 

For my appetizer, I ordered their wood-grilled crispy baby octopus which was described thusly: 

 


The dish was so good that we attempted to go back the very next day to have it again. I kid you not. Everyone who had tried mine wanted their own bowl! Unfortunately, the restaurant is only open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday so we were out of luck that Sunday. 

The disappointment was keenly felt. 

For years I've waxed lyrical about that bowl of wonderful smoky beans with the grilled octopus and numerous times, I’ve searched online for a recipe. I even wrote the restaurant and Edible Rhody, a local Providence food and drink magazine, to ask for one. The magazine folks did write back and say they’d try. Sadly, no joy. 

I finally decided it was time to stop dreaming and try to recreate it myself. Final result: Delicious. Was it the same? Probably not but then, it's hard to live up to a dream. 

Grilled Octopus with Spinach and Smoky Beans

This recipe is my attempt to somewhat replicate the flavors I remember. I don’t recall the grilled radicchio with honey and balsamic so I just skipped that part of the description. Please read through the method before starting so you can decide how you will cook the beans. I use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. 

Ingredients
1 lb 8 oz or 680g octopus
Olive oil
8oz dried navy beans
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
6oz or 170g baby spinach leaves

Parsley for garnish, if desired

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°F or 104°C. 

Clean the octopus well (I empty the head) and remove the beak. 


Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Drop the octopus in and set a timer for 45 seconds. 


When the timer rings, remove the octopus to a colander and drain. 

Transfer the octopus to an ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid with just a drizzle of olive oil. 


Put it in the preheated oven, lid on, for two hours. The octopus will create its own braising liquid. Photo after one hour:


Photo after two hours:


If you are cooking the beans in a traditional manner, pour boiling water over them in a metal mixing bowl and cover it with a plate. Leave to soak for one hour. Drain and rinse then cook the beans using your favorite method with the garlic, smoked paprika, salt and liquid smoke. 

Alternatively, DON’T SOAK THE BEANS and follow my instructions here for using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot: 
I can never be bothered to soak dried beans so I use my pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Put the beans in the pot with the other ingredients. Add water to cover twice the level of beans and 1. in a pressure cooker, cook for 30 minutes once the pot gets up to pressure or 2. in an Instant Pot, choose the beans/chili setting, which is also usually 30 minutes. 

In both cases, leave to de-pressurize naturally for at least 10 minutes when cooking time is up. You can cook them a bit longer uncovered to reduce the liquid, if desired. 


Cool and refrigerate the beans until you are ready to grill the octopus and serve. 

When the octopus is tender – you can test this after two hours by inserting a knife into the top of one of the tentacles, just where it joins the body. It should go in easily - start your charcoal or wood fire. Reserve the octopus cooking pot broth for possibly adding to the beans later. 

The coals should be quite hot so you can quickly grill the octopus so it browns and sears without drying out. Put your grill rack about 4 inches from heat source. 

Brush the octopus with olive oil. 


Grill it over the hot coals until the outside is browned but the inside is not dried out, about 8-10 minutes. 


We started tentacles down and turned it over about halfway through.

And by we, throughout this part, I mean my grill guy (best husband!) put the lid on for a couple of the minutes, to let it smoke. 


Turn the octopus over and brush with more olive oil about halfway through.


Cut the octopus apart, leaving the tentacles whole and chopping the head, into bite-sized pieces


Heat the beans in a pot over medium heat till they are bubbling.


Heap the baby spinach in the hot beans and pop the lid on so they wilt. Stir them into the beans. 


For extra flavor (and saltiness), you can add some of the broth left behind in the octopus cooking pot, if desired. I suggest straining it as you do. I'll be honest, I don't remember why but there must have been something in there that I thought we'd be better off without in the beans. ­čĄĚ‍♀️


Serve the beans in shallow bowls, topped with a grilled octopus tentacle or two. Garnish with an extra sprinkle of smoked paprika and some parsley, if desired. 

Food Lust People Love: This grilled octopus with spinach and smoky beans will seduce you with the tenderest octopus atop melt-in-your-mouth white beans. Serve as an appetizer or main dish.

Enjoy! 

It’s Sunday FunDay and today we are sharing seafood recipes to celebrate National Seafood Month or sides that go great with seafood. Many thanks to our host, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. Check all the links out below:


 
We are a group of food bloggers who believe that Sunday should be a family fun day, so every Sunday we share recipes that will help you to enjoy your day. If you're a blogger interested in joining us, just visit our Facebook group and request to join.


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with Spinach and Smoky Beans!

Food Lust People Love: This grilled octopus with spinach and smoky beans will seduce you with the tenderest octopus atop melt-in-your-mouth white beans. Serve as an appetizer or main dish.

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