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Author Notes: Ocean has always captivated my mind, because it is an absolutely mysterious and timeless mega-organism, which even today is a home to some of the oldest known creatures on the Earth. One of them is an octopus.
While humans as we know them today have been around for 200 000 years, the found fossils of the distant relative of a modern octopus are 165 million years old. One needs to be literally lively to be able to survive as a species without any major change for so long. Is not that admirable?
And here is another thing, that I've learnt with food: you've got to appreciate, what nature gives you, and cook it with respect. Octopus deserves a special treatment, that is why every dish with this amazing creature should be absolutely stunning and delicious. —AnastasiasKitchen
Serves 3 people
- 1 octopus (400 gr (15 oz) of octopus per person, so you can easily buy 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) for three people do not forget that it will shrink a lot)
- 1 olive oil and butter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 big sweet potatoes or 6 normal potatoes
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- 1 bunch of fresh dill
- 10 grams sweet paprika
- It all starts with cooking this amazing creature. The easiest and quickest way is to use the pressure cooker. Put the whole octopus without cutting (or just legs in my case), 3 tbsp of water, 1 onion, a few carrots and a few bay leaves (no salt) into the cooker. Track 15 minutes sharp, after the pressure cooker is ready. (Pressure cooker is great for making your food soft within minutes vs boiling or stewing it for hours.)
- While your octopus is cooking, start boiling potatoes in a separate pot. You want them to be slightly undercooked by the time your octopus is ready from the pressure cooker.
- Preheat the oven: 160°C/320°F/fan. Take a small tray, enough for the octopus and potatoes, cover the bottom of the tray with a thin layer of olive oil and add smashed garlic cloves (to avoid bad breath, take out the little sprout in the middle of a clove).
- Spread potatoes all over the tray (dill adds amazing flavour to potatoes! you might want to try) and leave some place on the side for the octopus (without cutting) with the tentacles facing up. Pour a bit more olive oil on top, add salt, small pieces of butter and fresh parsley.
- Cook in the oven on the lowest level for 10 minutes. Then gently mix the potatoes and change the oven program to "grill and fan". Cook for another 5-8 minutes. Your potatoes and octopus will get crispy on the edges. Keep an eye on your food. Grills can be naughty and wanting to burn your food!
- Take out the tray, add more fresh olive oil, some sweet paprika and parsley. Ready to eat!