So far it has been a stormy fall season in the northeast. I mean 8 days ago we were hit by Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the tr-state area. As I write this blog we are currently being walloped by a Nor’easter that rolled in this afternoon bringing snow to NYC in early November. So as you can imagine I have been stuck at home the past week, which I don’t mind because that means more kitchen time! With this kind of weather rolling in, it is time to roll out the comfort food. I am a big fan of seafood of all types, and I also love comfort foods such as chili. So the idea of combining the two in a comforting Fall/Winter chili made my stomach growl. The funny thing about this dish is that it was made with ingredients I never intended on using, this is why I call this “sort of chili”. I accidentally added too much heat to my sauce, and although I love spicy foods, this had a bit much. (oh no!)
It was a mean and spicy sauce which consisted of chili powder, black pepper, cayenne, green chiles, and jalapeno peppers, Whew! I needed to find a way tone the spices down without hurting the flavor in order to save my sauce. I added a tablespoon of sugar which did not have much affect, and I decided not to add anymore because it would suck if I were to end up with a sweet chili “dessert” instead of dinner! What I did next was dice up a small potato and a one medium sized green zucchini into small pieces and added them to the sauce to absorb some of the heat. Not only did this work, it surprisingly added another dimension of flavor and texture to the dish. The chili sauce maintained some of the heat, but it was much more tolerable. After a 90 minute simmer I added the seafood which consisted of shrimp, whole baby clams, calamari, sliced octopus and other goodies. Overall, this meal was a hearty, surprisingly good, and a really comforting seafood chili, well sort of a chili… Bon Appetit! *My prayers and support go out to all the victims of Hurricane Sandy*
1 Lb frozen octopus or baby octopus cleaned
1 onion cut into wedges
about 8 cups of water
1 teaspoon of cloves
2 garlic cloves
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
4 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tbsp salt (for boiling octopus)
salt & pepper to taste
Put the onions, cloves, and one tablespoon of salt in a large saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Using a large metal strainer, dip the octopus in and out of the boiling liquid at least 3 times, returning the water to boil between each re-dipping (this helps the octopus become tender). If you don’t have a metal strainer, use tongs to dip. Then completely immerse the octopus in the liquid and cook very gently for about an hour. I used baby octopus which was ready in about an hour, larger octopus may take 90 minutes of gentle cooking before tender. Allow it to cool in the liquid, then drain, cut into bite size pieces(for larger octopus) and place in a nonmetallic bowl.
Mix the oil, parsley, garlic, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper(to taste) and add to the bowl with the octopus. Mix well, cover, and chill for a few hours or overnight. Octopus can be served with crusty bread for mopping up the juices 🙂 Bon Appetit!