Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It came from beneath the sea

We're all afraid of something, right?

Me, I'm ascared of Jell-O. Any kind of jiggling and gelatinous aspic-like substance makes me want to run right underneath the covers in my jammies. And I don't even own any jammies. My friend Richard, an eminent professor of psychology (and equestrian water sports enthusiast; don't ask), has long been disturbed by this fear of mine. But then he's afraid of being buried alive in a 50/50 wet blend of Rice Krispies and Count Choculas, and so who, I might ask, is the real head case here?

By the looks of the couple standing next to me in the fish market when I picked out this particular sea creature, octopus is to many what aspic is to me.

I feel sorry for these people, don't you?

You don't? Then you haven't tried my insalata di polpo (octopus salad).

Sometimes I grill it, but this time it was into the pot (filled with well-salted water and a bay leaf) for about an hour.

Let it cool before slicing the hell out of the poor (shrunken) thing.

Tossed with a good Sicilian olive oil, garlic, parsley and a little balsamic.

Almost as easy to make as Jell-O.

And not nearly as scary.


Velva said...

Oh my...This would be a leap for me (sigh). I know I am missing out on something good.


Jeannie said...

I must say that last photo looks good:) They are pretty expensive stuff here though.

Claudia said...

Haven't had octopus in decades. As a child I recoiled from it Christmas Eve. Now I kick myself! But you know - I cannot make jello. Nope. I ruin it. I am a failure in the Midwest. Need to move to Octopus-lovin' Maine.

Anonymous said...

Hey. Thanks for the 7 fishes article. Great memories of childhood Christmas Eve tradition. Yes, the broccoli was there as well. Agree on the octopus! Currently stationed in Japan- seafood options are the best part of being in Japan. Say hey to the family for me- especially Aunt Rita

scott said...

Made a bunch myself. However, I combined mine with home cured olives, some crisp celery, parsley, garlic, sicilian olive oil and chianti vinegar. Great stuff, polpo!

Thomas Henry Strenk said...

I love octopus too. And it's easy to prepare. Although, I usually rub some of the dark skin off after cooking. Also, I like to cut up the boiled creature and give it a quick saute to crisp it up a little.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

When I was in elementary school in Brooklyn the Italian kids would make fun of the Irish kids on St. Patrick's Day by telling us our family meals consisted of "a six pack and a potato." My retort was to tell them " So what, you eat octopus!" with disgust.

Many years later I am married to a native Italian and I eat octopus and love it! lol!

I would love a nice big salad like this.

Chuck said...

I'd love to try this. Where do you get your octopus?

Mister Meatball said...

Chuck: I assume you're local? If so, Harbor often has it frozen. MM