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Rolly


Oct 19, 2011, 11:18 AM

Post #1 of 10 (5111 views)

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Octopus

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I have eaten octopus as sushi, but never cooked until yesterday. I friend made a veggie soup with octopus bits. It was awful --like trying to eat rubber. It was her first (and she said last) try with octopus.

I am interested is pursuing this cooking challenge. The octopus is available at Soriana cut into bite-size pieces and frozen. I'm looking for instructions for cooking -- boiled to go in soup or fried for tacos or ???

Rolly Pirate



sioux4noff

Oct 19, 2011, 2:25 PM

Post #2 of 10 (5096 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Octopus

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My advice is to feed it to the cat!


bournemouth

Oct 19, 2011, 2:39 PM

Post #3 of 10 (5092 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Octopus

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I'm pretty sure our cats would turn their noses up at it!


mazbook1


Oct 19, 2011, 3:20 PM

Post #4 of 10 (5090 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Octopus

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Actually, as a starter base/ingredient for a seafood soup, octopus is great and gives great flavor to the soup. It must be the first ingredient (by itself), as it needs to be cooked quite a lot longer than other seafood. It doesn't lose from overcooking, just gets more and more tender, quite differently than most seafood.

P.S. If you REALLY want a good first addition, try caracol, the sea snails. It's so tough that 1. I don't think it would be possible to overcook it, and 2. generally, just to be reasonably edible it needs to be pounded super flat (like abalone) before cooking. But ohhhh, the flavor!


Rolly


Oct 19, 2011, 4:41 PM

Post #5 of 10 (5081 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] Octopus

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¿How long is "a lot longer?" 30 min? an hour? ???

Rolly Pirate


chinagringo


Oct 19, 2011, 4:48 PM

Post #6 of 10 (5075 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Octopus

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Like you, I have primarily consumed octopus as sushi but one other experience may be helpful in your pursuits. The Greeks consider it a delicacy and years ago we would always go to a Greek restaurant called Diana's anytime we visited Chicago. They served it as a pickled appetizer and also in various cooked entrees. As I remember it, the octopus is excellent for picking up flavors from pickling procedures or sauces when cooked but the suction cups did remain a bit "chewy". I would look at Greek Recipes for a clue and maybe you could adapt to a new Mexican delicacy?

Disclaimer: It could have been the consumption of retsina wine (Greek Wine of the Gods) and ouzo which made the octopus taste so darned good!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



mazbook1


Oct 19, 2011, 4:50 PM

Post #7 of 10 (5072 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Octopus

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Depending on the age, and just what part of the octopus it is AND the altitude where you live in México, I would say about an hour, but I live at sea-level, so it's somewhat shorter than that usually. I never seem to remember, so I start sampling for tenderness after about 30-40 minutes. Of course, the higher the altitude (and many expats in México live at quite high altitudes) the longer it's going to take to cook things like octopus, caracol AND simple frijoles. Those who live at altitudes approaching or exceeding that of México City (roughly 7,000 feet) should get out their pressure cooker, just like most Mexicans who live at those altitudes do. Just don't use that pressure cooker for cooking any other seafood.

My wife lived in Mexico City for 7 years before I met her here in Mazatlán, and she STILL gets out the pressure cooker for cooking frijoles, since, although I feel it's unnecessary here, she likes the fact that it is still so much quicker.


(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Oct 19, 2011, 4:55 PM)


esperanza

Oct 19, 2011, 4:51 PM

Post #8 of 10 (5072 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Octopus

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In Reply To
¿How long is "a lot longer?" 30 min? an hour? ???

Rolly, is it possible that the octopus you bought was already cooked? I hate to say this, but my experience is that the longer you cook it, the tougher it gets.

Most folks advise cooking a whole octopus for about as long as it takes a medium-size potato to become tender: about 30 or so minutes. For a good rule of thumb, put a medium-size potato in the pot along with a whole octopus. When the potato is fork-tender, the octopus is, too.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









tashby


Oct 19, 2011, 5:17 PM

Post #9 of 10 (5066 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Octopus

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Many years ago I had grilled octopus at a little Greek restaurant in Philadelphia. I STILL think about that meal. It was spectacular.

In fact, you got me curious so I just Googled "Philadelphia Grilled Octopus" and there, along with other restaurants, was "Dimitri's".

This led to further googling and there are lots of different recipes, and MUCH debate about successful tenderizing methodologies. I've had delicious and tender octopus in seafood cocktails and salads....and I've also been served the rubber variety. Never tried to prepare it myself, but I'm tempted!


mazbook1


Oct 19, 2011, 5:55 PM

Post #10 of 10 (5058 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Octopus

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esperanza, It would be my guess that octopus, like a number of other "meat" products, first cooks up the the soft and tender stage, then, if cooking continues, it does start becoming more tough. Since I start "testing" the octopus I cook while it is still definitely in its beginning stage, then stop the cooking process just as it reaches that soft and tender stage, I may have avoided the pitfall of overcooking it. The 5 to 10 minutes for the other seafood in a seafood stew or soup, would hardly be enough to affect this.

I've never had grilled octopus, but it may be like tripa asada that is partially cooked by boiling (much longer than just parboiling or blanching) before grilling. I do love good tacos de tripa (asada). I even use tripa asada for the menudo I cook, and all my family says it's the best they've ever had. Better flavor and softer tripa than most menudos. Fortunately, tripa, unlike most seafood just keeps getting more and more tender the longer it cooks (although that too can be overdone!).
 
 
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