Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Anna Sultana's Stewed Octopus, Maltese Style


Last August I posted Ma's recipe for Stuffat tal-Qarnit.
Qarnit is Maltese for octopus. 
For many the stew recipe was something fun to read.
Octopus just isn't common here on the bald prairies.
Or in most other places, I would imagine.

Octopus is the stuff of legend.
And sometimes the stuff of science fiction.
I hope you've seen It Came from Beneath the Sea.
It's a dandy 1955 Sci-Fi film about a giant octopus that attacked San Francisco. 


If you must, go to the frozen food section for a bag called Seafood Combination.
In a pinch, it's not bad.
There are tiny octopus tentacles in it.
Not quite the same, but beggars can't be choosers. 
But maybe not being able to get fresh octopus is not a bad thing.

Octopus needs to be cooked a good long time. 
With the Seafood Combination you can skip the cleaning, washing, cutting and cooking. 

Seafood Combination only needs to cook for about 30 minutes.
So add it after the sauce (with the olives and capers) has simmered for 30 minutes.


                        Stewed Octopus

Clean and wash
octopus, about 2 pounds
Cut in small portions.
Simmer in salted water until tender.

While the octopus is cooking, start the stew.

In a dutch oven heat
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
Add
2 large onions, sliced
Fry until golden.

Add
8 ounces tomato paste
1/2 Cup water
Stir into the onions.

Add
1 pound tomatoes, quartered
Simmer until the tomatoes are mushy.
Add
the prepared octopus
6 olives, chopped
1 Tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon pepper
Simmer for 1 hour.

Serve the sauce with spaghetti or rice.
And while watching It Came from Beneath the Sea.

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