My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Thu
    21
  • Fri
    22
  • Sat
    23
  • Sun
    24
  • Mon
    25
  • Tue
    26
  • Wed
    27
North Park After Dark Aug 21, 2014 Over 30 businesses, from galleries to boutiques, will remain open until 9 p.m. and offering specials, refreshments and entertainment. 79 other events on Thursday, August 21
 
News
Re-casting the original trilogy with local politicos
News
How one case study could potentially transform City Heights
News
Former customs agent got more than seven years for smuggling drugs and people into the U.S., but mysterious events are raising questions about the government’s prosecution
Well, That Was Awkward
Spooky hell, urine baptisms and other memories exorcised by the Broadway play
Film
Joe Swanberg’s new independent film starring Anna Kendrick leads our rundown of movies screening around town

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
Home / Blogs / Nibbles
. . . .
Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 - 118 days ago Nibbles | Food & drink

Recipe: Octopus amuse bouche

By Michael A. Gardiner
octopus Photo by Michael A. Gardiner
In CityBeat's Food Issue, I wrote about my experience staging (essentially, interning) at Chad White’s La Justina restaurant in Tijuana. Last week, I used a number of the culinary lessons I learned at La Justina in preparing an amuse bouche for 80 at the Culinary Historians of San Diego’s monthly public meeting at the new San Diego Public Library. The April 19 event featured Chef Deb Schneider of Sol Cocina in Newport Beach and Scottsdale. Schneider's also the author of five cookbooks, including Baja: Cooking on the Edge, the second edition of which just came out.

The recipe takes the beautiful bounty of Baja’s ingredients, classic and modern technique and Baja’s rich and surprising culinary and ethnic heritage and combines them in a new way, all in a single bite. It's a dynamic dish, evolving on the palate as the ginger-chipotle sauce gives way to the octopus, then the avocado and the cilantro jus and finally the pea shoot. (The dish is also great made with shrimp.)

Octopus with avocado, ginger-chipotle sauce, cilantro jus and pea shoot. Serves 10 amuse-bouche portions 

Ingredients: 

For the octopus:
* 1 octopus (c. 3 pounds), cleaned and defrosted 
* Extra virgin olive oil 
* 5 bay leaves 
* 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil 
* Kosher salt 

For the ginger-chipotle sauce:
* 1 white onion, diced 
* 1 large carrot, diced 
* 1 bulb fennel, sliced 
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
* 2 inch knob of ginger, trimmed and sliced 
* 4 chipotles in adobo 
* 4 cups chicken stock 

For the cilantro jus:
* 2 bunches fresh cilantro 
* 2 cups, chicken stock 

Additional Ingredients 
* 1 avocado, diced 
* 10 pea shoot ends 

To blanch the octopus, preheat a water bath to 178° F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Cut the head off the octopus, slicing just under the eyes. Discard the head. Using kitchen shears or a very sharp paring knife, separate the tentacles by cutting through the flesh from the point where they join each other to the very center of the mass. Put the octopus tentacles into the boiling water and blanch for 10 seconds. Remove the tentacles from the water and plunge them into the ice bath. Using clean hands, rub the outer skin of the tentacles to remove the slimy skin. Next, sous vide the octopus: Place two tentacles into each food-grade plastic bag along with a teaspoon of olive oil and a bay leaf. Vacuum seal the bags and place them in the water bath, cooking the octopus for five hours. 

To make the ginger-chipotle sauce, sweat the onion, carrot and fennel in the olive oil in a medium saucepan for three minutes. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a Vitamix or other high-speed blender and process to a very smooth puree with a sauce-like texture. Refrigerate the sauce, allowing it to cool completely. Transfer the sauce to a squeeze bottle. 

To make the cilantro jus, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Meanwhile place the leaves and stems of the cilantro in the bowl of a Vitamix or other high-speed blender. Add the stock and puree. Refrigerate the sauce, allowing it to cool completely. Transfer the sauce to a squeeze bottle. 

Slice the octopus tentacles into half-inch segments and season the segments with kosher salt. Add the grapeseed oil to a sauté pan over very high heat. Working in batches, add the tentacles to the pan and sear them for about a minute a minute-and-a-half per side, until they are lightly colored. They should not be overly browned. 

To assemble the dish, squirt about a half-teaspoon of the ginger-chipotle sauce in the bottom of an Asian-style soupspoon. Top the sauce with a slice of the seared octopus tentacle. Top that with a piece of diced fresh avocado. Squirt about a half-teaspoon of the cilantro jus over the avocado. Garnish with pea sprouts. 

Note: The recipe makes far more sauce than will be used for this dish. Both sauces are excellent on either chicken or fish and for tacos of nearly every type.
 
 
Close
Close
Close