Friday, 11 May 2012

Chilli Baked Tomatoes with Slow Braised Octopus


Something happens to me when I go to the market. I lose touch with reality. All of a sudden I think I'll never see so much beautiful food ever again. I think the market (which has stood in the same spot for over a hundred years) will disappear, never to be seen again. I think I can carry 80 kilos of produce around for an hour (in two straw baskets). I think I can cook 100 meals in one day (and eat them). I think I'll never eat the best boreks for pre-lunch ever again. But then I catch a wormhole back to reality just in time to stop me from buying EVERYTHING in sight and I usually come home with more inspiration than food... which is probably a good thing.

Chilli Baked Tomatoes with Slow Braised Octopus
from Delicious
Serves 4

1kg good  ripe tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
500g baby octopus, tentacles only
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
12 whole black peppercorns
2 fresh bay leaves
pinch saffron threads
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
700ml extra virgin olive oil
80g caperberries
1 celery stalk, finely sliced

Preheat the oven to 120 degrees C. Cut a small cross in the base of each tomato. Blanch in boiling salted water for 10 seconds, then remove and plunge into iced water. Once cool, peel, and slice them into 5mm slices.

Place tomatoes, garlic, chilli, chopped herbs, salt and 150ml olive oil on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes until softened. Cool.

Place octopus in a deep baking dish. Top with zest, peppercorns, bay leaves, saffron and 2 cups of olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 3 hours or until tender. Cool.

Blend 100g tomatoes with vinegar and remaining 50ml oil until smooth. Season.

Arrange remaining tomatoes on plates and top with caperberries, celery and octopus. Drizzle with tomato dressing.

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