Octopus in its own ink


(Recipe from Gabriela Barraza)

Wash octopus with lime juice and rinse well. Cut up and cook. (Emilia, the maid, cooks them for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker without water, and then chops them.)

Finely chop garlic, onion, tomato and parsley. Sauté the onion and garlic lightly, then add tomato and parsley. Allow to cook. Add octopus pieces, a bay leaf and the octopus ink. A bit of red wine may be added.

Personal comment:

I’ve heard that there’s a way to cook octopus very slightly, just to the right point so that it’s tender and juicy–a matter of a few minutes. I’ve never been able to do it. My method of cooking octopus tender is to throw it in a large pot, cover with water, cover the pot and put on the stove for a minimum of two hours. You don’t have to worry about anything except keeping the level of water high enough to cover the carcass. Once a fork glides smoothly into the thickest part of the body, drain and cool. Once it’s cool, remove the fatty parts and the suckers on the tentacles, if you wish (all that can be slid off with your fingers), and chop the now buttery-tender tentacles and body (discarding the hard eyes), and use as desired. By the way, the ink must be removed before boiling!