OCTOPUS GALICIAN STYLE // Sita & Nena
GRANDMA: Sita & GRANDCHILD: Nena.
LOCATION: Galicia – Spain.
1 octopus – medium size (of about 3.3 pounds / 1kg and 50g)
4 potatoes, medium size (optional)
1 small onion
2 bay leaves (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil
Spanish sweet or hot paprika (to taste)
Sea salt (to taste)
*Our notes: At home we usually cook Polbo á feira con cachelos (Galician name literally meaning “fair style octopus with boiled potatoes”), the main reason is that adding boiled potatoes, it will be a main dish.
1. Buy the octopus fresh. Wash the octopus well, especially between tentacles and freeze it, or buy it already frozen.
Our notes: In the past people used to thump the octopus against a hard surface so that it softens.
2. The day before, take the octopus out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge to thaw.
3. Boil a pot of water with an onion and bay leaves in it.
Our notes: Use a copper cauldron to cook the octopus, if it is possible. It will taste better.
4. Wash and peel the potatoes. Set aside.
5. When the water starts boiling, grab the octopus by the head and “scare” it. This technique consists in dipping the octopus 3 times in the boiling water.
Our notes: The purpose of doing “scare” is so it stiffens/contracts, and the skin doesn’t break during the cooking process.
6. Add the potatoes when the water starts with the octopus inside the pot. Boil octopus and potatoes together for about 20-25 minutes.
Our notes: The time will depend on the size of the octopus. Prick the potatoes with a fork to check them after 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are well done, the octopus as well.
7. Turn off the heat, remove the potatoes from the pot and leave the octopus inside at least 15 minutes.
8. When the octopus is done, remove from the boiling water, place in a platter and let it cool. Slice the octopus legs with scissors, cut the head into small pieces.
Our notes: In the past people used to catch the hot octopus with the hands. Nowadays we use the fork but some people and professional ¨pulpeiras¨ still do it with the hands.
9. Serve on a wooden platter. Place the potatoes on the bottom and the octopus on top or separately. Add the sea salt, sprinkle hot and/or sweet paprika, and add a generous splash of olive oil.
Our notes: Red or white wine (depending on taste) and Galician bread is mandatory to dip in the sauce (extra virgin olive oil, paprika and sea salt).
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