Monday, April 16, 2012

Monsters of the Deep

Why is it that we have no trouble eating what was once a cow, pig or chicken but get incredibly squeamish about eating something that comes from the sea ? I do not understand why something that originated from a creature like this
or this
is considered good to eat. These creatures have mouths large enough to bite off your head, and could kick your ribcage in. We also have no qualms about eating this guy:
who is not at all attractive and can eat basically anything and live.Can be rather vicious to humans as well .Yet, the mere mention of this beautiful person
seems to make everyone go EWWWWW !!! Poor octopus. It gets such a bad wrap ! Octopus is chewy, but it is almost completely edible ( minus ink sack , eyes and beak), is a good source of protein and absorbs any flavor you cook it with. When it is living is can adapt the color of it's surroundings- sort of a magical characteristic. I mentioned I was cooking an octopus the other day on Facebook, and it invoked horror by friends. It is sad , because it is something used fairly often in Southern Italian cuisine, and can be quite  delicious. I have eaten octopus cooked by others, but never made it myself until the other day. I must say that if you find it with the ink sack, eyes and beak removed, it is a fairly easy critter to work with ! This recipe is from David Rocco, mixed with pasta, as is often done.

2 pounds octopus, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tablespoons extra virgin oil olive
3 cloves garlic, crushed
red chili peppers, crushed (optional)
5 anchovies fillets
20 capers
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped
salt to season
1 lb congelitti (small shells), cooked

    In a pan, heat up extra virgin olive oil. Add garlic, chili peppers, anchovies and capers and let cook together
 for 30 seconds.Add octopus and stir. Stir in cherry tomatoes and parsley. Let cook on low to medium heat for approximately
 1 hour or until tender. Add salt to taste.

Mix with pasta and serve

Delicious, and not the horrifying thing that some would expect :-)

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