Grilled octopus 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

3.31.11 Octopussy

G is wild about octopus. At Fairway, he'll often grab a container of vinegary octopus salad that makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when I come across it in the fridge. OK, I admit it, I'm a bit of an octopussy. I find its alien appearance—the purply sheen, the suction cups, the encephalitic head—rather unnverving. I've sampled some delicious octopus dishes in my time, usually by taking a bite from G's plate. It's almost always served  grilled: in a salad with bamboo shoots and pickled chiles at Momofuku; with discs of buttery potato and smoky chorizo at Colicchio & Sons; and, recently, in a tasty salad at Eataly. But it's not really something I order (I still pick around the tentacles on a plate of calamari, and I can't abide the spidery crackle of a soft shell crab), and certainly not a food I have ever welcomed into my kitchen.

So when G brought home two enormous, slimy purple tentacles and announced his intent to cook them up, I was something between horrified and awe-struck. But soon I was googling away, and read about an octopus dish made at Le Bernardin, that temple of all things from the sea. It called for first braising the octopus in a rich chorizo broth, then marinating it in miso before being charring it to order. I don't know about you, but you could do that to a shoe and I would eat it.
Tagged — octopus