Thursday, 20 March 2014

Octopus, Chorizo and Red Peppers, with Cauliflower Two Ways

Also delightful with scallops, or fresh squid rings...

Finally, I've pulled together the blog for this relatively simple to make, but delicious dish, after three other blogs which were necessary for the components (honest, it is simple and quick once you've cooked the octopus)!

Slow-braised octopus is tossed in a pan with crispy chorizo and red peppers, and served with a silky-smooth, garlicky cauliflower puree, which contrasts with a scattering of sautéed mini-cauliflower florets, cumin and almond crunch.

Serves two as a light lunch, or generous starter, easily doubled.  351 calories per serving.

140g cooked octopus tentacles, cut into evenly sized slices on the sharp diagonal (about 1cm thick) [230]
75g diced chorizo (about 0.5cm cubes) [254]
1 small red pepper, cut into long, thin, triangular stips, (about 1cm wide at top, 80g) [21]
1 tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste) [4]
Very small handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped [1]
100g cauliflower and garlic purée (cauliflower, garlic, milk, butter, see here) [120]
One half-quantity of sauteed cauliflower, almond and cumin crunch (cauliflower, coconut oil, flaked almonds, cumin seeds, see here) [71]

Serving suggestion
Green salad simply dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, crusty bread.

The octopus and cauliflower puree can both be cooked the previous day, and the puree just heated through in time to serve. Otherwise, if you're cooking the octopus on the same day, you'll need to reserve 2 to 3 hours to braise it, cool, and prepare.

Heat a large non-stick heavy-based pan over a medium-high, and add the chorizo before the pan is completely hot. Keep the chorizo moving, until it releases some oils, then add the pepper and octopus. Sautee until the octopus and peppers both have some colour (but the peppers are still crisp), being careful not to burn the chorizo.

At the same time, cook the cauliflower, almond and cumin crunch in a separate pan (add the cauliflower at the same time you put on the chorizo etc.) and warm through the cauliflower puree.

Add the lemon juice to the octopus, just before serving and toss through, then place some puree on the plate, put the octopus in a small pile, and scatter the cauliflower crunch to one side of the puree. Garnish the octopus with the chopped parsley. If you're serving with a green salad, best served in a different dish, so you can plate up the cauliflower and octopus onto a nice hot plate. Enjoy!

If using fresh (raw) squid rings or raw scallops, add the peppers to the chorizo first, and then when the peppers are slightly coloured but crisp, push the peppers and chorizo right to the side of the pan, and either briefly stir-fry the squid rings in the remaining space then add the lemon juice and toss together; or if using scallops, place in the space in the pan and cook on one side until lightly caramelised, for a minute or two (depending on size) then turn over and cook for another minute or two, until cooked to your liking (don't over-cook), add lemon juice and toss with the rest of the pan contents. Serve scattered with the chopped parsley.

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