Octopus



Just because an octopus has eight arms doesn't mean it's eight times harder to cook. An octopus dish gone wrong is terribly rubbery and chewy—but done right, the recipe should come out perfectly tender. There are many theories about how to tenderize octopus—from rubbing it with salt to beating it on a rock—but the true answer is just patience. Octopus needs to be braised low and slow and then it can take a trip on the grill or in a pan for a last-minute sear. Food & Wine's guide to cooking octopus will help you master this many-armed ingredient.

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Pulpo a la Gallega (Grilled Octopus with Potatoes)


José Andrés adds a clean copper penny to the saucepan to replicate the traditional technique of cooking octopus in a copper pot. The chemical reaction of the copper and the octopus gives the tentacles a gorgeous purple tint. Slideshow: More Octopus Recipes
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Octopus Salad

This is one of the most popular dishes served in restaurants and konobe (traditional Croatian eateries) along the Adriatic coast. It’s the perfect light and fresh start to a meal, especially on a warm summer day. There are hundreds of variations of this dish and every family treasures their own special recipe. It is fairly easy to prepare and, when you become confident in making it, you can add your own personal touch – adding some capers, salad leaves or even olives. But, whatever you do, don’t put fruit in your octopus salad as this might cause you to lose your Croatian friends! Excerpted with permission from Dalmatia by Ino Kuvačić, published by Hardie Grant Books May 2017, RRP $40.00 hardcover. Slideshow: More Octopus Recipes
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Octopus Recipes

There are so many theories about how to tenderize octopus—from rubbing it with salt to beating it on a rock—but the true answer is just patience. First, octopus needs to be braised low and slow and then it can take a trip on the grill or in a pan for a last-minute sear. Check out these delicious recipes and you'll get it right every time.
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Grilled Octopus with Ancho Chile Sauce

Tom Colicchio was inspired by the smoky flavors of Mexico while filming season 12 of Top Chef. He incorporated many of those elements into the menu at his new restaurant, Beachcraft, at the 1 Hotel in Miami Beach. In this dish, the octopus is first braised in sherry and then the skin is removed to make it extra-tender before it’s finished on the grill and glazed with a tangy ancho chile sauce. Slideshow: More Grilled Seafood Recipes
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Octopus with Chorizo and Potatoes

This recipe is a smart, delicious, Spanish-inflected way to cook octopus. Dipping the tentacles in hot water before cooking helps firm them up so they hold their shape. Slideshow: More Seafood Recipes
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Practice Makes Perfect Octopus

At Lincoln in Portland, Oregon, chef Jenn Louis is known for her perfectly tender octopus.
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Mario Batali, Octopus Whisperer

Chef Dena Marino of Miami’s MC Kitchen credits F&W Chef-in-Residence Mario Batali for helping perfect her signature octopus dish.
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Octopus Salad with Potatoes and Green Beans

When octopus is slowly simmered, it becomes delicate and tender. Tossed in a salad with potatoes and green beans, then dressed with garlic and parsley, it makes for a very lovely and satisfying dish.    More Salad Recipes  
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