This was a dish I made quickly one evening. Although I make “Gambas al ajillo” often, using octopus was a first for me. I happened to have a boiled octopus leg from our Japanese grocery store. I served it as sashimi with California spot prawns the previous evening. My thoughts went thusly; since we already opened a bottle of Cab this evening, my usual miso-vinegar dressing (sumiso-ae 酢味噌和え酢味噌和え) may not work. In addition, I baked baguette that morning. Looking at the line-up of red wine, octopus, and baguette; the only thing I could reasonably make was “Pulpo al ajillo”. I did not follow any recipe, I just winged it. As usual, I cooked it my “antique” Corningware. (It was new when I bought it but I just recently discovered it is now considered antique…I don’t even want to think about what that means. Nonetheless this is a good vessel to use for this dish).
I use a good amount of fruity EVOO with slices of garlic and red pepper flakes on low heat.
It takes some time before the edges of the garlic slices to brown. I quickly took out the garlic slices (I just used my dexterity with a pair of Japanese cooking chopsticks) and set it aside. I then added slices of the octopus leg (I sliced the tip length wise).
I seasoned it with salt and pepper and added finely chopped parsley. Even off the heat, the olive oil kept boiling for a few minutes. I served this with thin slices of my freshly baked baguette. Yes this was very good. The bread mopped up the wonderful garlic olive oil sauce. The octopus was chewy but tender.
It is interesting to know that, when I searched for a similar recipe while writing this post, I only found recipes in Spanish. When I searched this in Japanese as “タコのアヒージョ”, there were many recipes in Japanese. In addition, I found many Japanese variations. In any case, this was a perfect dish for the evening. The only problem is because of the bread this dish was quite filling.