There are two different sizes (small at 2-4 pounds and medium at 4-6 pounds). The size used reflects your own taste in the presentation or part of the meal (main, first course, or appetizer), but the To-Table octopi are all well tenderized - a big differentiator. As a boneless animal that is all muscle - and muscle moving in all directions - the tenderizing is crucial.
Once the octopus is tenderized and cleaned, it really is an extremely simple and delicious food to cook and eat. Sometime you will cut of the head and the "beak", but that is the only real preparation required with our octopus. Grilling is simple. A few recipes for this follow. Cooking confit style as described on the product page of To-Table is incredible. Use meat in Salads, pasta, as a main dish, in stews or many other ways. Caviaroli (see product at To -Table ) are an visually pleasing and delicious addition to many Octopus recipes.
Italian Style Grilled Octopus (Deborah Mele - Italian Food Forever)
- 3 pounds cleaned octopus
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup whole peppercorns
- 2 lemons, plus additional lemon wedges for serving
- 1 wine cork
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
In a large pot, place the octopus along with the wine, peppercorns, 1 lemon cut in half, cork, and garlic. Cover with water by 1 inch and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the octopus until it is tender when pierced with a sharp knife. (Anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.) Drain, and allow the octopus to come to room temperature.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, spread evenly over coal grate. Alternatively, set the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Toss the octopus with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.Place the octopus on the grill and cook for a few minutes on both sides until the octopus is well browned, but still remains moist, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Cut the octopus tentacles, place on a platter and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, juice of the remaining lemon, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or at room temperature with lemon wedges if desired.
Chili Lemon Octopus (Jewelies from Food.com)
- 2 kg baby octopus
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon rind, grated
- 3⁄4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- Remove and discard heads and beaks from octopus, cut octopus in half.
- Combine octopus, rind, juice, oil, sauce and garlic in large bowl, cover, refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
- Drain octopus from marinade and discard marinade.
- Add octopus to heated skillet or barbecue, cook over high heat until just tender
Octopus with Linquine (Rose Pascale Gourmet December 2000)
Ingredients Makes 6 servings
- 1 (31/2-lb) cleaned frozen octopus, thawed
- 2 (35-oz) cans plum tomatoes, including juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 lb dried linguine
Put tentacles from octopus head (just below eyes) and discard head. Fill a 6- to 8-quart pot three-fourths full with water and bring octopus to a boil (do not salt water; it will make octopus tough). Simmer until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Drain and cool slightly. Rinse under cold running water to remove as much of purple outer coating as possible without removing suction cups. Drain well and cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
While octopus simmers, chop tomatoes, reserving juices.
Sauté garlic and red pepper flakes in oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in parsley and basil. Add tomatoes with juices and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.
Add octopus and cook until very tender when thick parts are pierced with a fork, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, boil linguine in a large pot of salted water until al dente, then drain well.
Serve octopus sauce over linguine.
Cooks’ note: Octopus may be simmered, rinsed, and cut into pieces 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
Octopus Saltimbocca (Ryan Hardy of Charlie Bird Restaurant in NYC)
- 4 slices prosciutto di Parma
- 2 qts. water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ lbs. octopus ( 1 large or a few small)
- 1 carrot, peeled, cut into chunks
- 1 small head fennel, trimmed, quartered
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon red chile flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 sage leaves
- 2 oz. Prosciutto di Parma, julienned
Heat oven to 350°. Lay the prosciutto slices between two sheets of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Top with another baking sheet to weigh it down. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, just until the prosciutto is golden brown. Remove from oven; slices will crisp as they cool. Keep oven on at 350°.
Bring water and salt to a rapid boil in a large pot. Add octopus, cook until the tentacles are curled and dark purple, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pot; reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Cool octopus slightly on cutting board. Slice the tentacles from the head. Remove the beak and discard. Add all the parts to a large roasting pan along with the carrot, fennel, fennel seed, peppercorns, chile flakes and bay leaf. Drizzle with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil; toss to coat. Cover with foil. Roast 45 minutes or until octopus is tender.
Meanwhile, in a medium microwave-safe bowl combine chickpeas, 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, parsley, ¼ cup of the reserved octopus cooking liquid and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
To make the sauce, place a large skillet over high heat. Add butter; let it sizzle and brown around the edges. Add julienned prosciutto; cook, stirring constantly, until starting to crisp. Add remaining ¼ cup of the octopus cooking liquid and the sage, cook, stirring, until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in remaining lemon juice, to taste.
To serve, warm the chickpea mixture in the microwave just until warm. Divide among four plates. Top with pieces of the roasted octopus. Spoon the sauce around the plate and top with prosciutto chips.
Number of servings (yield): Makes 4 servings.