Eating Fabulously, Christopher Stewart, octopus, summer, recipe, peaches

For strange reason octopus has been on my brain. Octopus was on the menu back in my restaurant days and I am a avid lover just in general. My local seafood provider always has frozen octopus on hand so recently I decided to pick up one and put my chef hat on. 

I was definitely inspired by all the great plating I see on Instagram so I knew I had to dig my chef hat out of storage for this dish. Octopus is super versatile and can be cooked and enjoy several ways and its also pretty good for you. I will take octopus anyway I can get it, but crispy is my favorite. After it was all said and done, I pretty much stood in the kitchen eating seared crispy octopus out of the skillet with a sprinkle of salt and a dip in the tomato seed vinaigrette here and there. I love the peaches in this for a punch of summer and sweetness and the Israeli couscous adds texture. Israeli couscous is a larger form of couscous so its great for an additional side dish as well. This dish is great to make when your feeling adventurous and you want to show of your chef skills to friends.

*** octopus has something called a "beak" with has to be removed before cooking. To remove, turn octopus over, and squeeze the beak out of the small hole in the center ***

Seared Octopus with Israeli CousCous & Peaches 

1 whole octopus
1 onion,
1 lemon, cut in half
1 head of garlic. cut in half
6 stalks of celery, chopped

1/4 c. Israeli cous cous
1/2 c. water or stock 
1/4 c. minced red onion, divined into 2 bowls
1 peach, sliced
1/4 c. tomatoes, small dice

Tomato Seed Vinaigrette
the seeds and juice of 2 tomatoes
minced red onion 
white wine vinegar
pinch of sugar
blended oil
salt and pepper

Place raw octopus on a flat surface. Turn over and open the small hole in the center of the octopus and squeeze out the black beak.  In a large stock pot filled half way with water, add all octopus ingredients except octopus and bring to a boil.  When boiling, lower octopus slowly into stock and simmer for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, remove octopus and place in an ice bath. Once cooled, remove tentacles, and wipe off skin with a paper towel. Set tentacles to the side. 

Couscous & Tomato Seed Vin. 
Follow cooking directions on couscous package. In a medium bowl, add dice tomatoes, 1 part of the minced red onions, and cooked couscous. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with a small amount of olive oil. 

In a small bowl, whisk together minced red onion, seeds and tomato juice, vinegar, and sugar. While whisking, slowly add in blended oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. 

Searing the Octopus and Plating: 

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan. When sauté pan is hot, add octopus and sear until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Thinly slice peaches and layer on a plate. Next, spoon couscous over peaches and layer seared octopus on top. Finally,  spoon tomato seed vinaigrette on top of octopus and serve warm. 

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