Grace Dinsmoor of Modesto: Recipe for Pulpo a la Gallega
This is part three of Chrissy Wilmes' Chef's Choice profile of Grace Dinsmoor of Modesto. Part one can be found here. Part two, a Q&A with Dinsmoor, is published here.
Chrissy Wilmes Pulpo a al Gallega
Finally, octopus is "in" at U.S. restaurants. This tasty seafarer has long been popular in Mediterranean cooking -- perhaps for as long as people have been living on the Mediterranean and cooking.
You may have noticed that fresh octopus has been available recently at Whole Foods Market. In part, that's because customers have been buying it. Consider taking the hint.
The following recipe highlights octopus' substantial but not chewy texture and its excellent ability as a vehicle for simple but distinct flavors.
2 pounds fresh small octopus
2 large baking potatoes
Boil whole octopus for 45 minutes, drain.
Slice the tentacles at an angle into bite-size pieces, season with paprika and salt and let rest for five minutes.
Peel and slice the potatoes, blanch in salted water, then crisp on a grill or under broiler.
Finish octopus pieces by grilling or broiling for 40 to 60 seconds, until paprika starts to blacken.
Arrange octopus over sliced potatoes and garnish with lemon slices.
Serve hot or warm.