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Octopus anyone?

George Aar

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I've always loved the pickled octopus appetizer that they serve at a local Greek restaurant.

I've also heard that the Greeks do a great job of bar-be-queing same.

Anybody know how to cook it? The lady that ran the local Greek restaurant in my town said she wouldn't fix it for me - it was too much work. I can't imagine how. But then, whaddu I know?

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Octopus has a lot of steps to preparing it - it has to be beaten, peeled, parboiled - it's a lot.

Sometime when I have more time and my computer is not in the shop (fried motherboard this morning - whoo-hoo!) I will give you some of hubby's family recipies (hubby is 1st generation American - his family is from Greece.)

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Pickled Octopus - Oktapodi Toursi

2 1/4 lb young octopus

1/2 c olive oil

1/2 c red wine vinegar

4 Garlic clove

salt; to taste

black pepper; to taste

1 ts dried thyme

lemon wedges, to serve

Prepare and wash the octopus (as in Octopus in Red Wine). Place

the head and tentacles in a pan with 6-8tbsp water, cover and simmer

for 60 to 75 minutes until it is tender. Test it with a skewer.

Drain off any remaining liquid and set aside to cool.

Cut the flesh into 1/2" strips and pack them loosely into a

screw-topped jar. Mix enough oil and vinegar to fill the jar -

the exact amount will depend on the relative volumes of the seafood

and the container - stir in the garlic and season with salt and

pepper. If you are using dried thyme, mix it with the liquid at

this stage. Pour it over the octopus, making sure that every last

piece is completely immersed. If you are using thyme stalks, push

them into the jar.

Cover the jar and set it aside for at least 4-5 days before using.

To serve, drain the octopus and serve it on small individual plates

or saucers with the lemon wedges.

Cubes of at least one-day old bread, speared on cocktail sticks,

are the usual accompaniment.

Servings: 8

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When I traveled to the seaports in Spain, there was Octopus under the glass counters at every sidewalk deli. It was all delicious. I'd love to help you figure out how to prepare it. My first stop would be down at the Public Library or the Pike Place seafood market and pick up some recipe books and some fresh tenticles and ingredients. Bon apetite mate.


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