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Octopus and Potatoes - Pulpo con Cachelos

In Galicia where octopus is a longstanding favorite, cooks recommend dipping the octopus three times into boiling water before letting it simmer with onion and bay leaves. It should be tender in one to two hours, depending on size (test it by pricking with a skewer).

Makes 8 tapas servings.

Prep Time: 35 min.

Cook Time: 1 hr. 20 min.

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1 whole octopus, weighing about 3 - 1/4 lb, fresh or frozen (or about 1 lb 2 oz frozen cooked octopus meat, thawed)
1 slice of onion
2 bay leaves
2 - 1/4 lb medium potatoes, peeled
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 tablespoons pimentón
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil

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Freezing octopus tenderizes it. No need to beat it. Blanch the thawed octopus in boiling water for one minute. Drain. Bring another pan of water to a boil with the slice of onion and the bay leaves. Add the octopus and let it cook at a simmer for about one hour. It should be tender, just a little chewy. Remove and let it cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, slide off the pinkish skin and discard. (Optional. Many prefer to leave the skin.) Cut the potatoes in half and add them to the same water in which the octopus cooked and cook them until tender. With scissors, cut the octopus into bite size pieces. Arrange them on wooden plates with the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt, paprika, garlic, and drizzle with the oil.

Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.

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