While visiting New York earlier this year, I saw an “octopus” trend. Every menu seemed to include an iteration of octopus. Grilled, sautéed – even blackened. After returning to Atlanta, I watched to see how long it would take before the many-armed cephalopod made it’s way to the south…It’s here! So, I couldn’t resist reposting a blog from the summer of 2009. Here’s my first attend at octopus wrangling, aided and abetting by my fun and intrepid sister, Pat. After rereading the blog – I realized that I didn’t share our wine choice for the evening. We drank a crisp Greek Assyrtiko – super refreshing for a hot summer evening.
The very good news: our briny buddy was cleaned at the fish market – Woo Hoo! Both my sister and I have enjoyed octopus in a variety of different preparations but, after deciding that it should be grilled, we set out to find out just how. I researched on the Internet – let me share with you there are some funky posts out there for cooking octopus! We couldn’t beat it on the rocks as they do in Greece. It didn’t sound right to just sauté it briefly and then grill – visions of rubber bands were floating in our heads. So, we decided to defer to the master of scientific cooking, (Harold McGee), and used his advice along with some hints and tips from Mark Bittman’s video blog to turn our slimy cephalopod into dinner.
Here’s a quick and flavorful recipe for Tzatziki, a Greek Yogurt, Cucumber and Garlic Dip, great with flatbread, pita chips or raw veggies.
1 Cup Diced or Grated, Peeled and Seeded Cucumber
16 oz Plain Greek Yogurt
6 Garlic Cloves, Minced or Grated
1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
2 TB Chopped Fresh Mint or Dill or Combination of Both
Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a Drizzle
Place the Cucumber in a fine strainer over a bowl. Salt the cucumber lightly and leave to drain about ½ hour. Remove the cucumber from the strainer and place in a paper towel. Roll to remove moisture.
Place the yogurt, garlic, oil and lemon juice in a bowl and stir. Add the cucumber, and the herbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with oil and enjoy.