We've been teasing you with the promise of a recipe from Chef Mariela Rebollo of Barcelona on the Go, but the day is here: if you head out to Santa Monica Seafood (the chef's recommendation for your octopus needs), you can make pulpo a la Gallega, or Galician-style octopus with potatoes and smoked pimentón.
Chef Mariela Rebollo, Barcelona on the Go
1 bottle of Albariño – you can get a decent bottle of this white wine
from northern Spain for around $15.
1 frozen, clean octopus, 1½-2 lbss
2 lbs. baby Dutch (or fingerling) potatoes
4 tsp. smoked Spanish pimentón
4 Tbsp. Arbequina olive oil
Sea or kosher salt
1. Thaw out the octopus overnight in the fridge.
2. Open the bottle of Albariño. Pour yourself a glass and, very
important, SAVE THE CORK!
3. Fill up the pot with enough water to submerge the octopus.
4. To the water add salt and the cork (now, this may be a myth, but,
believe me, it works!)
5. Bring the water to a boil.
6. Using a pair of kitchen tongs, submerge the octopus for 30 to 45
seconds or until the water comes to a boil again, then lift it up.
7. Repeat previous step 2 more times. This is known as “scaring the
octopus” (asustar al pulpo) and will help (together with the cork) to
tenderize it. Unless you enjoy the texture of a chopped garden hose…
8. Boil the octopus for roughly 1 hour, or until it offers no resistance when
punctured with a knife.
9. DO NOT THROW AWAY the water! Boil the potatoes in the same water that octopus was cooked for roughly
20 to 25 minutes. Now you are ready to assemble.
10. Cut the potatoes into bite sizes and set aside.
11. Using kitchen shears, cut the octopus (head and tentacles) into bite-sized pieces and
12. In shallow pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and then add 2 teaspoons of pimentón.
13. Throw the potatoes into the pan. Once they begin to brown, pull them
out and place them on a plate.
14. Add more oil and pimentón to the pan and saute the octopus for a minute
15. Pull the pan off the fire and add the scallions.
16. Serve the octopus on top of the potatoes, sprinkle salt to taste, and ¡listo! You've just created the most tender octopus and one of my favorite
Spanish dishes. Enjoy this dish with a glass (or two) of Albariño. ¡Salud!