Wednesday at the Barn.......Octopus Hispaniola....In the Press...


Dish of the Week

Sauté Octopus Hispaniola

They are strange creatures to look at and not the easiest to cook, but oh how delicious Octopus is when you get it right. We brined them first in a salt mixture, then slow cooked them sous vide for five hours, which softened and tenderized them. Octopodes are mollusks, but the meat is similar to a mild tasting crustacean like a lobster. Hispaniola was Chef's inspiration for the dish. The stellar dipping vinaigrette of chili peppers and chives which accompanied it captured the vibrant spirit of the second largest island in the West Indies. Fingerling potatoes, baby artichokes, and green cherry tomatoes were all cooked separately, then combined, while the octopus was simply sautéed in olive oil and confit garlic.

At the last minute Chef added golden cherry tomatoes he blistered in olive oil, then dressed with Spanish sherry vinegar. I love this technique ~ you end up with a sweet peeled cherry tom with crunchy wings that looks as if it's taking flight off the plate. The octopus was soft and pliant, with a gentle heat from the chili, and a soft almost ethereal texture.

Hawaiian mythology holds that the octopus is the lone survivor of an alien universe. Perhaps, but far more fascinating is that they are equipped with chemoreceptors in their suction cups which allow them to taste what they are touching. Now that's a talent that would go a long way in a kitchen.

Style Me Pretty

It was great to see one of our favorite couples published in Style Me Pretty this week, one of the more popular wedding blogs around. Leah Lee captured all the details. Here's the link.

All text Jil Hales. All photos Jil Hales (unless otherwise noted.)

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