An unusual and visually exciting dish to start your meal off
Hi GialloZafferano viewers and welcome to our kitchen. Today we’ll be making octopus Carpaccio. This is an interesting and unusual way to prepare the usual boiled octopus. To make it, you’ll need a plastic bottle — reuse one left over from bottled water or any other drink. Let’s see what we’ll need:
• Coarse salt
• A carrot, 2 stalks of celery and 1 onion
• A few black peppercorns
• 6 juniper berries
• 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
• 4 bay leaves • A 2 and a half pound octopus
• 1 clove of garlic
• Salt and pepper
• Extra virgin olive oil
• And 1 lemon
Let’s make our octopus Carpaccio
First thing is to prepare the octopus. This octopus is already cleaned out, that is the head is completely emptied out, however besides this you’ll need to remove the eyes, and the beak which is essentially the teeth located in the centre of the tentacles. Remove the eyes with two cuts cutting a wedge around the eyes, and normally when you remove the eyes, you’ll see the end of the beak just below. With a small knife you can cut out the beak from the cut you’ve just made. Like this. Now wash the octopus very well and then we can go on to cooking it.
In a pot, add some water and then the onion peeled and cut in half, the peeled carrot, the celery, peppercorns, juniper berries, and the bay leaves. Add a bit of salt and the vinegar as well. Now it’s time to boil the octopus. To get the tentacles into a more aesthetically pleasing form (you can also do this for octopus salad), you should curl the legs. To do this, slowly submerge the tentacles in the boiling water until they begin to curl up, like this. Little by little, as you can see, the tentacles begin to curl. Dip the tentacles for at least 6 — 7 times or until they’re very curled. Here we are. Now that the ends of the tentacles are curled, you can submerge the octopus and let it simmer, don’t let the water come to a full boil. Simmer for a half hour for each pound of octopus, so for this size, about an hour or so will be fine.
When the octopus is cooked, drain it, let it cool and then you can cut it. Remove the head and cut it in half, and then cut the octopus into 1/4ths. Now we’re ready to put it in the bottle.
And here’s how to do it. Here’s the bottle, which for this amount of octopus should be about a litre capacity. If you have a larger octopus, simply use a larger bottle, 1 and a half or 2 litres depending on the size. First of all, cut off the tapered end of the bottle and leave the straight part. Next, poke holes into the bottom of the bottle using an awl or the ends of a scissor. Be careful it doesn’t slip and cut you. Put the bottle into a bowl to catch the water from the octopus, and then put the octopus in. If you can, try to keep the tentacles curled in the bottle because they will make a really nice cross-section when cut. Add everything and then press all of the pieces down very firmly using a pestle or something else heavy and wide enough to not pierce the octopus.
After you’ve pressed down the octopus and the liquid has drained, it’s time to close the bottle. Cut the plastic vertically to the height of the octopus, and then close the bottle by folding the tabs to the centre. Then you’re ready to wrap it in plastic wrap very well, and then let it chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours with a weight on top to keep everything compact.
After 6 hours, you can take the octopus out of the bottle. Just lift the tabs, and turn the bottle upside down and the octopus will slide out. Now we’re ready to cut the slices — use an electric knife or a very sharp knife that will let you get the slices as thin as possible. Also you can prepare the dressing for the octopus — lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix it together and it’s ready. Now let’s cut our octopus.
Once you’ve cut the octopus, serve it immediately, or put the slices in the fridge because if they warm up they’ll come out of shape. Now, finely mince the garlic and parsley and sprinkle it in and around the octopus. Then drizzle it with the dressing. The octopus Carpaccio is ready to be served. From Sonia and GialloZafferano, see you next video recipe.