Now that the sun has come out to play again, I feel like socializing outside and gathering my friends around for a Tapas Party.
I made a variety of Tapas, but the one I would like to share with you is the Pulpo alla Gallega. Otherwise known as Octopus Gallega style.
I first had this dish in Madrid, in our usual Tapas bar and loved it then. It's not often you come across Octopus in a shop here in the UK, so when I saw one in the freezer of an Asian supermarket, I had to have it.
Here is how I prepared it.
This octopus was frozen, but if it is fresh it must be frozen first for a day, then defrosted. This helps the tenderising process.
1 Octopus (Pulpo)
Spanish smolked Paprika
A good Spanish Olive Oil
Place a large pot with Water onto stove, add 3 Bayleafes and a halved Onion and bring to a rolling boil. Salt will be sprinkled on the finished dish, so NO salt in the Water.
Rinse the octopus, then using kitchen tongues grap it by the head cavity and lover into the boiling water for 5 seconds. Take it back out for 5 seconds, lower again for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times. This closes the pores and helps it keep the skin tight. (Or something like that... It's what they do in Gallega and that's this recipe, so just do it! :-)
After the 3rd time leave it in the water, bring back to simmering point then simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. At that point check with a small sharp knife at a thick part of the Pulpo, if it feels tender. The same way you would check if a potato is cooked. If it does, turn off the heat and leave to cool in the water. If it's still very tough carry on simmering for 10 minutes and check again. Keep doing it that way until it has reached the tender point. Cooking it for too long can make it toughen up again.
Finally take the octopus out and slice into bite sized pieces. Arrange on a platter or better still on a round wooden board. Sprinkle over the Sea Salt, Paprika and drizzle the olive oil. A final sprinkle of Paprika and serve. Room themperature is best.
My guests and especially my spanish friends loved it, so it was a winner for me.