A good octopus in a vinaigrette is perfect to serve as a tapa, and accompany it with slices of toast. In addition, this dish is not only delicious, but it is also colorful and light.
How to make octopus vinaigrette (octopus salpicón)
- 1 octopus weighing 2 kilos.
- 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar.
- 10 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 red peppers
- 1 green pepper
- 1 small white onion.
- Coarse salt, to taste
- 1 optional red tomato .
- One leaf of laurel optional.
- 2 chilli or white hot peppers optional.
- 1 sprig of chives optional.
- Ground black pepper to taste
The first thing to do is get a good pot, with enough space to cook the octopus and the other ingredients. There, you have to bring plenty of water to boil.
While the water is heating, you can take the opportunity to soften the octopus (already clean). For this, you will need a rolling pin or a mallet. You will have to beat the octopus meat, but without reaching the point of damaging or breaking it.
Once the water is boiling, add a handful of kitchen salt. This should be done once the water is hot, and not before, otherwise the liquid will take longer to heat up.
If you want to perfume the water, also add a bay leaf (optional).
Now is the time to start cooking the octopus. It will have to be “scared” to help it soften, relaxing the fibers of the body. The “fright” consists of taking it by the head and immersing the rest of the body in the hot water, without letting it go. This action will be quick: once the octopus is completely submerged, it must be removed, drained slightly, and put back into the pot. This must be repeated 4 times.
Then, it will have to be completely submerged in the water, to let it cook for 30 minutes.
You can take advantage of the cooking time of the octopus, to take care of the vegetables. In the case of peppers, you have to wash them well, dry them, remove the branch and open them with a knife, to remove the seeds and cut the internal white part.
Then, you have to cut them into squares or slightly longer pieces, depending on your preference.
Serve with natural or toasted bread, for tapas.
The most recommended thing is that the octopus already comes clean from the fish shop, or wherever you bought it, to save you that work in the kitchen.
If you cannot buy the clean octopus, you should carefully run it under the cold water tap, and carefully clean each tentacle with the help of a kitchen brush. You will also have to turn the meat of the head through the mouth, very delicately, to clean this part.
If they are still present, you will need to remove the eyes, internal organs, and the ink bag with a knife. You also have to cut the mouth and finally, rinse everything again so that no traces of ink or other dirt remain.
Also keep in mind that for octopus meat it is softer, the ideal is not necessarily to use fresh octopus. Better, you can freeze it, even overnight, and then let it defrost completely, to make the fibers of the octopus meat break down, and it becomes softer.
TIPS FOR PREPARING THE OCTOPUS IN THE VINAIGRETTE
- The cooking time of the octopus vinaigrette is proportional to the weight of the octopus. 30 minutes is fine for a 2 kg octopus, but this time must be reduced for smaller octopuses. When in doubt, as the octopus cooks, you can try pricking it with a fork. This way you can tell when the meat is tender enough.
- If you want to speed up the cooking of the octopus, you can use a pressure cooker, instead of a traditional pot. For example, for a two kilo octopus, instead of 35 minutes, you will need 15 minutes.
- Optionally, you can add other ingredients that you like to the preparation of the octopus vinaigrette to the vinaigrette, such as green or black olives (sliced, or whole but they are seeds), or a yellow pepper.