Poached Octopus, Sofrito, Spanish Bomba Rice
We are excited to see the signs of spring all around us these days. Soon we will be out of the winter sparsity and you will see the variety of ingredients in the Stash increase significantly as our options open up. It’s an inspiring time of year!
This week we are bringing you some Spanish style octopus. There are some tricks to cooking octopus to make it come out tender. We did it for you, but it is fun to know. When boiling octopus you have to dunk it 3 times before letting it drop into the water and cook. Also, per Spanish tradition, you cook it with corks from wine bottles floating in the water. These tricks help to make sure the Octopus comes out tender! We thought you could either grill or sautee the octopus and serve it with some Spanish style rice and drizzle the whole thing with squid ink aioli.
To make proper Spanish style Bomba rice, you want to rinse the rice first in cold water. I would use a large frying pan and start with the sofrito (peppers and onions cooked down until they are meltd), Add some olive oil and toss in the rice. Let the rice toast in the oil for a couple of minutes at medium high heat while stirring it. After a few minutes you can add chicken broth or water (about equal parts liquid to rice) bring it back to a simmer and then turn it down to a low flame to keep it simmering. This is when I would add saffron to the liquid. No need to cover this type of rice, also, don’t stir it while its cooking! The Spanish prize a slightly “al dente” style rice that is not creamy. If you stir rice you loosen the starch and it will become creamy, like risotto. Once the water has evaporated, (you can listen for the rice to start crackling along the bottom of the pan) test it and see if it’s cooked to your liking, if its still too hard, you can add a bit more broth and keep cooking.
Salad Lyonnaise is a classic French salad made with Frisee lettuce, bacon, and poached egg. To make the dressing, sautee some finely diced bacon in a pan with a little onion or shallot. Remove the grease and take the onion and bacon and mix it with olive oil, and some sherry or red wine vinegar in a 2/3 oil, 1/3 vinegar ratio. You could add a little mustard to the dressing as well as fresh or dry tarragon. Serve the frisee lettuce topped with the dressing while still a bit warm and top with a poached egg. If you need help with poaching eggs, reach out and we can give you some tips.
Another one of my favorite Spanish tapas is Oyster mushrooms “A la plancha”. Take a pan (cast iron works great here) and get it very hot. Add oil and sear the oyster mushrooms and some garlic at very high heat until they start to caramelize on the outside. I find it’s best not to stir them while cooking but just flip them once. Once they are cooked you can deglace the pan with Dry sherry or white wine (it will catch on fire) and then put the mushrooms on a plate and drop a raw egg yolk on top. The yolk will mix in with the hot oil and make a nice sauce for the mushrooms. I like to eat this with bread.
I suggest a nice grapefruit and avocado salad this week. Just slice up the grapefruit and avocado and add a little olive oil and apple cider vinegar, you could also add some red onion if you like and for the pescatarians, you could also use rockfish and cook it in lime juice and add it to make a nice ceviche.
Brandon made a nice broccoli soup. I always like to make a little cheese bread with it. You can make a grilled cheese (or open face melt) with the Monterey Jack as a compliment to the soup, or you could grate some jack cheese right into it when you heat it up.
As always, we’re here for you all week to answer questions and give more suggestions and techniques. Don’t hesitate to reach out! Gabe and Brandon