Don’t pay attention to the temperature! Grilling is the perfect year-round activity, especially when using a robust brew like Samuel Adams Boston Lager that has a rich malt and roast character; it’s the perfect beer to emphasize the wonderful flavors the food gets from being grilled. The balance between the malt and the hops and moderate alcohol level make it a flavorful and complex brew that is perfect for pairing with all kinds of food. Experiment! Enjoy!!
If you haven't thought about serving octopus before, here's your chance to do so. Using a smaller octopus means more tender results in less time, so forget all the chewy renditions you've had before; this elegant appetizer is sure to impress.
There's no reason to shy away from cooking octopus at home. It is as easy as boiling chicken. Every waterfront restaurant in Greece prepares it in this simple manner, first simmering it until tender, then searing it on the grill.
If you buy fresh octopus, ask the fishmonger to clean it for you by removing all the viscera from the head. Frozen octopus is cleaned before freezing.
I want to share with you a very easy dish. In fact, it is almost a "non-recipe," as all you have to do is cut the ingredients and mix them together. Well, you may have to boil the octopus and potatoes, too, if you cannot find them ready. But that’s about it. I used to eat a lot of this during my summer holidays in Sicily, so it brings back lots of beautiful memories. It makes a great light main dish or a classy starter. Enjoy!
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One glorious fall day last year, we visited the winemaker Vangelis Gerovassiliou in Epanomi, near the city of Thessaloniki. His mother, kyria (Mrs.) Marianthi, made this delicious local specialty for us. "Food needs olive oil," she said matter-of-factly when I remarked on the copious amount of olive oil in the dish. She also explained that she bakes the dish, rather than cooking it on the stovetop, to prevent the eggplant from disintegrating. Contrary to my own inclination, she also boils the octopus.
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I am not sure what the right translation is for this recipe but oden is a one-pot dish, which is a little bit different from stew or hot pot. It's more like a simmered dish: assorted fish balls, fish cakes, atsuage (deep-fried tofu), hard-boiled eggs, konnyaku, and some vegetables are simmered in soy sauce-based broth. I usually make oden a day before so that all the ingredients will absorb good oden broth and it tastes much better the following day. In my house, I usually serve it with onigiri (rice balls). The color seems boring because it's mainly brown, but the flavor is amazing and exquisite. Maybe that's why it's a lot of people's winter comfort dish.
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I have always liked Greek pickled octopus but didn't realise it was easy to make. I got this recipe from a class I attended at the Sydney Fish Market Cooking School. If you can't find a pre bashed octopus you can do this using a wooden rolling pin and belting the octopus about 30-40 times (advice from the fishmonger) I suggest doing it outdoors!