Camp Recipe: Nettie Colon’s Charred Octopus with Grilled-Lemon Coriander Sauce


Charred Octopus

Serves 4 

3 oregano sprigs
3 thyme sprigs
2 Hungarian wax peppers charred
1 head garlic charred
2 Roma tomatoes charred
½ red onion charred
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black peppercorns
2-3lb octopus (fresh or frozen)

Bring a large pot of water with all the ingredients (except the octopus) to a boil.  

At a rolling boil, hold the octopus with tongs and dunk the whole thing, completely submerging it for 10 seconds. Repeat this three times, the shock of the boiling liquid tenderizes the octopus. After the third dunk, leave it in the pot to cook at a simmer medium simmer for 45 minutes for a three-pound octopus and an hour for a five-pound octopus. After that, remove it from the pot, let it cool, and cut to make each tentacle a portion.  (You can discard the head or use it).

Once cooled, toss the octopus tentacles in olive oil, light salt and pepper. Grill the octopus tentacles on one side until crispy, flip and repeat on the other side.

To serve, lightly coat the octopus with the Grilled Lemon Coriander Sauce and serve with grilled lemon halves atop roasted potatoes & kale.

Grilled Lemon Coriander Sauce

3 large lemons
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted in a dry skillet until fragrant and lightly ground
½ cup parsley
2/3 cup olive oil
2 serrano chiles, stemmed and diced
2 tablespoons honey
Salt to taste

Cut the lemons in half and place cut side down on the grill until there’s a nice char marking on the surface of the lemon, three to four minutes.  Flip and grill for three to four minutes more.  Remove from the grill and cool completely.

Using a hand-held juicer, juice the lemons into a glass measuring cup, they should yield about 1/3 cup.  Pour the lemon juice into a deep quart container jar and add the coriander, parsley, chiles, honey and 1 teaspoon of salt. Blend with a hand blender, by adding the olive oil in a thin stream until the mixture is smooth.