I know it shouldn’t, but it always comes as a bit of a surprise to see the wealth of available seafood when travelling around mainland Europe. I suppose a lot of this surprise is because there is so much seafood caught in the UK and then shipped to mainland Europe meaning that we see so little in the UK! The Octopus is, however, a species more commonly found in warmer waters, and whilst the number found round costal Britain is probably rising due to global warming and the effect on sea temperatures – the octopus is something one would expect to see more regularly in Southern Europe. And indeed you do – fresh in fishmongers and some supermarkets and ‘pre cooked’ and ready to use in most supermarkets. Octopus is not a particularly cheap food source costing around €15 a Kg fresh in fishmongers – certainly away from the coast. Pre-cooked, octopus is a little more expensive, but a small pre-cooked octopus for 3 as an appetiser would be around €10. All the hard work has been done, the cleaning and the first cooking producing a product that is tasty and has an ideal degree of firmness without being chewy in this state – but so much better when charred on the grill.
With the pre-cooked octopus all there is to do is to separate out each of the tentacles and divide these through the body. The head is also very much worth eating though is a little less attractive (but makes great pre dinner nibbles with a glass of crisp white wine). The individual tentacles, once divided, can then be placed on the hot grill (using the BGE with a dome temperature of around 225C as you would for a steak.) We learned last year that charring more is better, and does not lead to the toughness we were initially concerned about. It is just important that there is some crisp ‘char’ on all surfaces. This may take in the region of 10 minutes, turning the pieces regularly. All that was left was to allow them to rest for a few minutes and serve. These were served and slices of boiled potatoes and a small salad drizzled with lemon and olive oil, and then salted and peppered.
Recipe details here …………………..Give it a try when ever you get a chance!!