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Author Notes: I almost entered this in the Recipe I Want To Be Remembered For contest, but I figured that octopus was too daring. Someone at Food 52 must be psychic, because the very next contest gives me the chance to share this delicious creation with you. I had never heard of campechana when I first ate it at La Laguna in Lake Chelan, Washington. Our server spoke very little English, all I knew when I ordered it was that it contained octopus, which I love. The flavor was haunting, exquisite. After a lot of experimenting in my own kitchen I managed to recreate it as I remembered the flavors and textures. I hope you love this dish as much as I do! —Abra Bennett
Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main
- 1 baby octopus, 1-2 lbs, fresh is best but frozen is okay
- 1 cup V8 juice
- 2 cups Clamato juice
- 1/2 pound sea scallops
- 1/2 pound rock shrimp, or small regular shrimp, shelled
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons catsup
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Yucatan Sunshine hot sauce, or 2 teaspoons Cholula or Tapatio sauce
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup ripe tomato, diced
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- Prepare octopus by cutting tentacles into very small pieces. You can also cut up the body of the octopus, if you wish. Place V8 and Clamato in a saucepan, bring to a boil, add octopus. Cover and boil very gently for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, cut scallops into quarters, and shell shrimp, if you're not using rock shrimp. When octopus is very tender, stir in shrimp and scallops and simmer for just 2-3 minutes, until they are barely opaque. Remove pan from heat.
- Stir in lime juice, hot sauce, catsup, onion, and tomato. Add a little additional Clamato if you like. There should be enough liquid to barely float the seafood - this is a cocktail, not a soup. Let cool to room temperature. Stir in cilantro and avocado just before serving. If you have Mexican margarita glasses, it's beautiful to serve the campechana in them.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Squid or Octopus Recipe