10.16.10: tapas parte dos (polpo, pimentón y cangrejos de río)

Polpo con Pimentón (Octopus with Paprika)

E definitely outdid herself with these photos. I think they really capture the lively essence of these little yummy critters. They actually look like animals right out of the ocean. The prep on both was very simple highlighting the sweetness of the crayfish and the chewy richness of the octopus. This was part my half of the dinner on the inaugural night of The Book of Tapas cookery.

I was excited about the octopus. My love of squid has been well-documented and I make no favorites among the mollusk brethren. The preparation was simple: first freeze, then boil the hapless cephalopod until it’s good an done. My guy was too large (3.5 lb instead of the prescribed 2.2 lb). So, I cut him in half (we ended up with four tentacles instead of eight), and froze both halves: one for later and one for that night. The book then dictates a 35 minute bath in boiling water, testing frequently until it reaches the consistency you want. Mine took over 40 minutes but it was worth the extra wait as E is not a fan of overly chewy food. The octopus should be snipped into bite size pieces with kitchen shears when finally ready and coated with paprika and olive oil. This is better the next day and in my next attempt I’m going to try some long-term marinating of the cooked bits.

Onto the crayfish! 

Cangrejos de Rio al Estilo Burdeos (Crayfish in Wine and Tomato Sauce)

The little mudbugs got sautéed in wine over high heat. The book instructs the user to remove one the rear dorsal armor plates to get at the digestive tract, but after a few digs beneath the exoskeleton, I realized that these guys must have been cleaned already as I found no tract to speak of. The book is straight from Spain, maybe things are different there. Oh well, I probably left the fishies in the pan for too long because they were not as succulent as I’d liked (not quite lobstery), but when I cook whole beast for the first time (and it was my first time), I always tend towards caution. Fortune favors the bold, I’ve said so before , and so next time I will be a bit more cavalier. A strained fresh tomato sauce was the topping- it was thin and intense instead of being thick and chunky.

So, be not afraid of whole and bizarre foodstuffs, friends. Thanks to the guys at Sea Breeze Fish Market at 44th and 9th for these great aqua-eats. I will be writing a post on the market itself on some future date for you, noble readers. Until then, friends, cook on!

Octopus on Foodista

Wild Crayfish on Foodista

  1. Octopus? Oh…I am afraid. I’m sure you can make it delicious, but oh.

  2. Tracy said:

    The photos are wonderful, pure delicious. You two are brave to cook such beasts.

  3. To work with pre made resources or not? That is a question that every creative people asks themselves from time to time. Even if you’re a talented artist, sometimes the deadlines are just too brief, or that spark of inspiration did not reach yet. Awkward, there are many of solutions available. In the ocean of pre-made graphic and designs that one may down load and use for his needs, one author stages out. A fast growing Scarab13 Design Resource Site is a template paradise, packed with custom, exclusive data (all designed by Scarab13), where literally anyone can find something they want. By Photoshop tutorials, backgrounds, activities, brushes – to some more advanced posters, fashion magazines, mock-ups and banners – it’s all here and able to download. While one of the most popular Envato authors, Scarab13 has mastered the skill of designing creative data files (in all topics/genres), documents that are complex in their technical execution, but very simple in their usage, being geared toward users who may or may have not know about Photoshop; thus are user friendly & modify and tweak in minutes, giving you with some very professional and beautiful designs for Print, Web, Cell, TV, and all other outlets. (also related: downloadsoho. com, scaryposter. com, creativeartmarket. com)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s