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Old 07-31-2007, 06:57 PM   #1
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Perfect way of cooking octopus anyone?

Ok, as some of you guy's know me and my friends have these cooking challenges. The next one is seafood and I want to make a deconstructed ceviche mixto with fish, octopus and shrimp.

Well recently I had some octopus in a sushi platter and the texture was absolutely perfect, it was amazing. I've often had good octopus before but I was wondering if anybody know's how long to boil the tentacles to get that perfect meaty (not rubbery, not soft) texture.

Appreciated in advance.

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Old 07-31-2007, 07:04 PM   #2
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For your ceviche trio, I would recommend calamari over octopus. IMO you get a better texture with it.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:05 PM   #3
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Thanks. Calamari I'm very used to cooking with but I have honestly never had it in ceviche, in spanish and Mexican cooking it is mostly in hot dishes. Still Im going to pick some up and make myself a bowl just to see how it turns out. Saddly enough whenever we have these competitions I have a tendency to prepare the dish once or twice ahead of time.

As for the dish itself Im thinking of using salt rimmed martini glasses for the ceviche cocktail (shrimp, octopus, fish, lime juice, little hot sauce, cold shrimp stock) and serve it with a shot glass of lime juice, one of aguachile (blended chilis and water) and mounds of chopped onion, cilantro and tomato on the side.

What Im trying to emulate is a campechana which contains the above ingredients + clams, mussels, scallops, squid and sometimes crab. Here's a couple of pics I found online, although those probably arent "complete". The real stuff... my mom says that it looks like something they would be eating at the cantina in star wars. Still I grew up loving it.

Edit: Im not giving it the full campechana treatment because a couple of the judges are squeamish about seafood. One is from Maine and had never had clam chowdah, believe it or not.



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Old 07-31-2007, 09:20 PM   #4
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Ok, I see what you're saying now. I had thought that you were going to make three different ceviches with the seafood you listed so that you'd get three different tastes, but you're going to combine them all in one, right?

Since it looks like you're thinking of doing a tomato based dish, here's a link to a recipe that I've done versions of and I really like:

Douglas Rodriguez's Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche's Recipe on StarChefs
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:24 PM   #5
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I'd sure be tempted to put a bit of vodka in it...or is that not allowed with ceviche?

I'm a hillbilly...don't know about such things.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugaru
Ok, as some of you guy's know me and my friends have these cooking challenges. The next one is seafood and I want to make a deconstructed ceviche mixto with fish, octopus and shrimp.

Well recently I had some octopus in a sushi platter and the texture was absolutely perfect, it was amazing. I've often had good octopus before but I was wondering if anybody know's how long to boil the tentacles to get that perfect meaty (not rubbery, not soft) texture.

Appreciated in advance.
I just read this in The El Farol CookBook a few days ago a restaurant in Santa Fe they do spanish tapas they are quite famous Ive eaten there its very good.Any how they say the key to tenderizing octopus is to cook in simmering broth for 4-5 hours.They also say to put a real wine cork into broth they say it works but they dont know why.They also say most cooks make the mistake of undercooking because the octopus becomes very tough and rubbery after 1 or 2 hours and they think its overcooked.Its not.Keep going.
Ive actually had their octopus there and it wasnt fried it was surprisingly good almost like lobster or crab.Very tender.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:51 PM   #7
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for octopi, a long slow braise and it will be soooooooooooo good.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:20 PM   #8
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Thanks for the recipe Iron, that's pretty close to what we usually do although ceviche is super regional. One variant I like from my home state is putting a can of clamato in it but that wouldent be fare, we are doing everything from scratch. In Acapulco they put ketchup in there, which is gross in my opinion. The ceviche Im making is not tomato based though, im leaving the tomato on the sidelines for this one as part of the deconstruction thing.

Constance: I am contemplating a third shot glass of Sauza tequila just to take as a shooter but Im honestly not sure if it's a good idea or not. It goes great with ceviche but your not exactly supposed to add it so It might seem like a distraction. I'll probably go with it anyway... drunk judges are happy judges.

JPM and Robo: I'll pick up some octopus to play around with. Super 88 (our local asian market) always has great looking octopus and worse comes to worse it means I have one of my favorite pieces of seafood for dinner once or twice while I get the technique down.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:18 PM   #9
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I heard somewhere before that the rule of thumb for cooking octopus is “2 minutes or 2 hours”. The cook said that octopus gets tough very quickly, so you shouldn’t cook it any longer than 2 minutes......if you do, then you need to lower the temp and slowly cook (braise) it for 2 hours and it will soften up again. I’ve never tried it, but that has always stuck with me for some reason. Anyone else heard of that?
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:35 PM   #10
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I`m with Keltin also, it has a Critical period, Miss the boat 1`st time around and you wait 2 hours before you can catch it again :)

I`m with Constance also, but a Dash of Tobasco I recon would rock too! ;)
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