Octopus a la Scampi

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I love to eat octopus but I have never attempted to make it. There is a great fish market near our house that sells all sorts of seafood and every time I go in, I see the octopus and say, “next time I am going to go for it”. Today was that day! It’s funny because when I went to culinary school one of my exams was to fillet a fish in 15 minutes and that never affected me. However, the octopus was a different story, especially when the tentacles started shrivelling up, it almost looked like it was moving (LOL). I knew it was going to be worth it so I kept going.  The tenderizing part is similar to brineing but you boil the brine mixture instead of chilling. You can also do this part in advance, chill the octopus over night and then cook the next day. This is such a great dish to impress guests and you don’t need to much. We bought the 2 pound octopu for about $20 and it easily feeds 6-8 people as an appetizer or 2-4 as a meal. I’ll provide some meal options on the tips section. When we move to our new house, I am going to make this on the grill for sure!


Ingredients – serving mentioned above
*Octopus – whole about 2 pounds
*Peppercorns – 1 tablespoon
*White wine – 1/4 cup
*Olive oil – 1/2 cup
*Garlic – 14 cloves, 8 minced, 6 whole
*Lemon – 1/4 cup juice and 1 whole, cut in half
*Flat leaf parsley – 2 tablespoons
*Kosher salt – 1 tablespoon
*Pepper – 1/2 tablespoon

  • In a large tall stock pot on high, place the octopus and add water (make sure the octopus is completely submerged and there is about an inch of water over it), white wine, 6 whole garlic clove, pepper corns, 2 halves of lemon
  • When the water starts to boil, lower to simmer and cook for about 2 hours
  • Remove from the water and set to cool to room temperature or place in the fridge
  • In a dutch oven (cast iron) on medium heat ad a table spoon of the oil, then add the octopus, add the salt and pepper and mix
  • Add the garlic, rest of the oil and lemon and cook for about 1-2 minutes, then add the parsley and cook for about 1-2 more minutes

Tips: Serve in pre-sliced pieces with toothpicks (either hot or cold) as an appetizer; Serve on a small plate one tentacle as an appetizer; serve over some pasta and use the olive oil mixture as the sauce (you may want to add a little butter for this one); serve as a salad.

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