Usually after a day of lounging on a lawn by the Hudson River watching beach volley ball, I show more restraint at the Fairway Market. But Sunday I was swept up in the momentary protein lust and found myself riding home to Harlem with a bagful of not just the usual array of fresh vegetables but also three little beef steaks, a pack of hotdogs, and (good Lord) a 3.13 lb octopus.
What does one person do with that much cephalopod?
First I brought a seasoned pot of water to boil. Then I dipped the octopus in the water for a minute and removed it until the water came to a boil again. Once again, twice again, thrice again, in total dipping four times to temper the creature and curl its tentacles, then dropping the whole thing in. Topped with a lid, it boiled for 45 minutes.
Octo-broth is amazing stuff: so fragrant. It deliciously filled my 90˚F apartment with the smell of the sea (if the sea were also made of garlic, shallots and bay leaves) at 11:30 at night. I decided when it was done to place the whole thing in the fridge until the next day. Broth and all. The next night I warmed it up and had my way with it.
What to do with so many tentacles? Jar them with fresh thyme, pomegranate vinegar and Wolfgang’s olive oil…and a pinch of red chili flake. Four tentacles and some head in this jar, two tentacles and the rest of the head in another, then wrap two remaining tentacles in a ziplock bag a give them to a dear friend. 2+4+2=8.