Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Octopus Mezé

Growing up in Minnesota, I always considered myself quite an adventurous eater. I would eat onions, garlic, lots of spices and even fresh fish! Like most Swedes and Germans, anything with a lot of flavor or with a strange consistency was considered dangerous. So when I finally decided to go out for lunch with Yannis at Zorba's, I almost fell off my chair when they brought us a plate of octopus! That was before the moussaka and squid! I didn't want to seem squeemish and let Yannis know just how uncultured I was in the culinary department, so I tried the Octopus. If I didn't think of the suckers and the disgusting color of the octopus the taste was actually pretty amazing, and the texture really pleasing. Octopus is now one of my favorite starters. I love it grilled, boiled or smoked. I'm so glad that Lent is here and you can see octopus hanging from almost every taverna. I'm also glad I've become so adventurous!!

CONSUMER WARNING: If your octopus dish turns out looking like this... might be from Minnesota.

3-4 lb. octopus   (frozen if necessary!)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar or red wine
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 Tables. oregano
salt and pepper

Rinse the octopus and put it wet into a pot with the vinegar,and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer untill the octopus is tender. Poke it with a fork and test the octopus; when tender put it on a plate to cool. When you can handle it, clean the suckers off the octopus, slice into bite size pieces and put on a platter. Drizzle the octopus with olive oil and fresh lemon, salt and pepper. Serve as an appetizer,;with salad and bread it's a great full course. Put any leftovers in a covered bowl with olive oil and vinegar to just gets better and better! You can make this recipe with Mavrodauphne wine instead of red wine vinegar, and you can also cook the octopus in it's own juice on very low heat until tender. When I have lots of time I like to put a whole head of garlic in tinfoil and bake it in the oven for about 1/2 hour; squeeze the tender baked garlic into the simmering octopus...very nice!!

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