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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Griddled Octopus and Zucchini in December

Tonight is Stiletto night again.. meaning I'm listening to the Nirvana Unplugged album while having Poulpegasms.
That may sound a bit out of hand, but that is the exact description of my evening.  An evening alone, indoor barbecue-ing on my cast iron griddle pan some zucchini slices and octopus, smoking up the house and enjoying the music.. and its all for my sole lonely pleasure.
So no, I'm not watching Pulp Fiction in English (although next time, I SOOO will be watching Pulp Fiction in English because I just remembered that I own that DVD and it's a rare occasion I get to watch my favorite cult movies in their original version.. I mean seriously.. Austin Powers is retarded in French).  That was a very very long parentheses.
So poulpe is octopus, and today I hit pay dirt.  I actually cooked it correctly compared to last time, although it still blew my mind that first time.  The thing that made this event such an event is that I made summer happen in December.  Yes, this is traditionally summer fare.  Zucchini is not in season (unless it comes from Spain apparently) but I really don't care.  I wanted something bbq-ish and this poulpe hit the exact spot that had been hiding from me for quite some time.
Serves 1 (yes.. didn't I mention it was Stiletto night?)
for boiling:
2 small fresh octopi (poulpes), cleaned
1 clove smashed garlic
1 small handful celery stalk pieces
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
3-4 cups water
for griddling:
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into approximately 7mm thickness
1 + 1 clove garlic, grated
few pinches fleur de sel
drizzles of chile infused olive oil (or olive oil with some pepper flakes)
pinches of ground pepper
squeezes of lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
for garnish:
some jarred sundries tomatoes
1.  Place the smashed garlic clove, pepper, chile powder, celery, and sea salt in a pot of water and bring to a boil.  Add the fresh octopus and boil for 25 minutes.  Remove the octopi and set aside
2.  While the boiling is happening, prepare the zucchini.  Slather onto the slices 1 of the grated garlic cloves with a few pinches fleur de sel and ground pepper.  Drizzle some of the spiced olive oil onto each slice.
3.  Bust out the griddle pan (or if it's actually summer and not raining, the bbq or plancha).  Griddle the slices for about 4 minutes on each side or until the slices have grill marks, are cooked, but still have a slight crunch.  I can't technically describe this, but it is the best way to enjoy zucchini.  It makes zucchini the king of all vegetables when cooked this way.  I also had a Zucchinigasm... did I mention that?
Set aside the zucchini slices. 
4.  Once the octopus is finished boiling (and it should be nice and tender) toss with the other clove of grated garlic, some pepper, lemon juice, parsley, and more of that spiced olive oil.
5.  Slap that octopus on the griddle for about 2 minutes on each side.  Don't overdo the grilling here.  The tenderness will become tough if you lose your focus.. so FOCUS please.

Serve with some sundried tomatoes from a jar and then try to figure out a pretty way to capture all the pleasure running through your body.
I hesitated on the photo because I plated it a bunch of different ways.  In the lead photo it looks like a salad, but it was actually warm/hot and orderly at first.
See?  It's steaming.
Anyway, I ended up mixing it around to find the most pleasurable way to enjoy it and eventually came to the conclusion that the tentacles needed to be separated and the zucchini cut into sections, then all of it tossed around with the sundried tomatoes from a summery jar.
The happiest ending to this Stiletto evening would be a few scoops of that Piment d'Espelette ice cream I've been saving.
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