I recently dined at a “to-die-for” Greek restaurant in NYC called, Ethos Gallery. One of my favorite seafood dishes was the “Octapodi Sharas” (grilled octopus) on their small plates menu. Wow! My mouth was full of sheer joy! I think our entire dinner party is still dreaming of grilled octopus! It was tender and juicy and incredibly flavorful, which inspired me to make my own version that I could share with you all. Don’t worry, it seems complex but it’s really not! Where the heck do you buy octopus? I buy mine at Whole Foods, but you can often find octopus at your local seafood market or at select Asian markets. This dish makes an awesome appetizer, but is filling enough for a main. Serve it with a side of Roasted Baby Potatoes with Leeks. Kalí óreksi! – which is Greek for “bon appetit!”
Simmer whole octopus in a large pot for one hour until fork tender.
Dunk octopus into an ice bath to cool and maintain its color.
Grill octopus until nicely charred on both sides. I used my stove-top grill pan!
- 25 whole peppercorns (green or black)
- 1 large lemon, cut in half
- 4-5 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 head garlic, cut in half length wise
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
- 2 pounds fresh, cleaned whole octopus (head removed)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 leek, cleaned and chopped (white part only)
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Salt & pepper
- 1 large lemon for squeezing
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large pot of salted water, add peppercorns, lemon (squeezed), thyme, garlic, white wine, and bay leaves. Bring water to a boil. Slowly drop in whole octopus, tentacles first to avoid too much curling. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour. Poke tentacles with a fork to check tenderness (should be very tender). When done, drain into colander and put octopus only into a large glass bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again when octopus has cooled. On a cutting board, cut tentacles into off of into individual whole pieces starting from middle of octopus (keeping tentacles intact). Place whole tentacles into a plastic baggie and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to coat. Set aside to marinate, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet with one tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic, leeks, shallots, and red pepper flakes. Cook until translucent. Stir in thyme, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat either an outdoor grill or grill pan on high. Remove tentacles from marinade and grill until octopus has vivid char marks, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from grill and place on a serving platter. Sprinkle veggie mixture on top of octopus and squeeze with lemon juice. Garnish with chopped parsley. (Can be served warm or at room temperature.) Serve with a side of Roasted Baby Potatoes with Leeks.
Adapted from: NY Times
This Indonesian recipe is especially delicious because my two nieces helped me make it! We used striped bass for the fish fillets. It’s delicate and flaky when cooked. Any nice white fish will do! Of course, I love heat so if you’re not into that you can go easy on the sambal oelek. I prepared this recipe as an appetizer making mini-cakes, but this is great as a main course as well. Don’t forget the lemon on the side for that extra zing of citrus! Thank you, Darby and Jordan! It was a blast having you in my kitchen!
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless white fish fillets
- 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass (white part only)
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Roughly chop the fish fillets. In a food processor, pulse the fish to form small chunks. Set fish aside.
- In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil on medium-high. Sauté the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger until translucent but not mushy, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine together the fish, cooked vegetables, sambal oelek, turmeric, cumin, green onions, mint, and beaten egg. Form into 3-inch patties and place on a baking tray.
- Wipe out sauté pan and add remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the fish patties to hot pan in a single layer and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes each side. Remove from heat and pat with paper towels. Drizzle fish cakes with sriracha sauce. Serve with lemon wedges and extra sriracha sauce on the side.
I love it when a recipe is both incredibly easy and delicious! For this popular Chinese dish, we’re going to cheat a little by using Pillsbury Grands, which are available everywhere at your local grocery store. Easier than making it from scratch! Just steam them and stuff them with just about anything! I’ve pocketed these with shiitake mushrooms and other sautéed veggies for this particular recipe, but it can also be stuffed with your favorite protein. Dig in for a quick snack, or a meal!
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 leeks (white parts only), sliced
- 8 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2½ tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1½ teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands Buttermilk Biscuits
- 2 green onions, sliced
- In a medium-sized skillet, heat canola oil on medium high. Add shallots and leeks. Sauté for 7 minutes until caramelized. Add mushrooms and sauté until cooked through. Stir in hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and ginger. Mix well. Remove from heat and toss in green onions.
- While vegetables are cooking, separate dough into 8 biscuits. With fingers, flatten each into rounds about ½ inch thick. Fold over to form half-moon shape; place in steamer or bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper. Set steamer on top of wok or saucepan with boiling water. Steam 10 minutes; cool completely.
- Cut buns in half, but not completely through, to form a pocket. Stuff buns with vegetable mixture and serve immediately on a platter.