Grilled Octopus with White Beans

We've been trying to do cheaper cuts of fish and try different stuff to keep the summer dining exciting. With such long days, we've been filling the afterwork time trying things we've never tried before. 

We had octopus the first time at a fancy LA italian place, on a night we were feeling adventurous. It was grilled and had tones of lemon on it, all over a white bean base. Here, we recreate:

First, par cook the octopus. We had a 5 lb one. You're going to boil it to make it tender. either do it in water, or even better add in some celery, carrots, etc to make more of a broth to cook it in. You'll get way better flavor. Do that for maybe an hour and a half at a gentle boil (not hot water, not rolling bubbles). 

Let it cool, then peep the purple skin off it. It'll come right off. 

Above is the final product. For the beans, just soften a few shallots with olive oil in a pan, then add beans, a glassful of white wine, and let that liquid wine cook off. Then, season with salt, pepper, and lemon. 

Do the final bits on the grill. Brush the following with olive oil and put on a really hot grill: bread, halved-tomatoes, and and the octopus. Get some good char marks, remove the legs from the body, and serve as seen above. 

Main - Smoke Ribs for Dad's Day

  • 2 racks of pork ribs
  • 1 cup of Steve’s BBQ rub
  • ½ cup beer or apple juice
  • 1½ cups BBQ sauce

Instructions

  1. Peel the membrane off the back of each rack of ribs. Generously rub the BBQ spice rub all over the ribs.
  2. These are directions to smoke the ribs in a smoker.Set the smoker to 225F and use your wood of choice . Place the ribs in the smoker and smoke for 3 hours if they are spareribs and 2 hours if they are back ribs.
  3. After the ribs have been in the smoker for 3 hours, take them out and wrap each rack with aluminum foil. Pour a ¼ cup of beer or apple juice with each rack of ribs. Fold over the foil and pinch all the edges to ensure that it is sealed well to allow steaming.
  4. If your smoker can function as an oven (like Bradley smokers) place the ribs wrapped in foil back in the smoker for another 2 hours. It is also possible to use an oven for this stage. Have it set for 225F and bake them for 2 hours.
  5. After these 2 hours, remove the ribs carefully from the foil. Generously coat the ribs in your favourite BBQ sauce. Put them back in the smoker set for 225F for 1 final hour. It is also possible to use the oven for this stage.

MAIN - Seared Scallops with braised chard, semi-mashed white beans, and arugula Pesto



This is something that's really easy, but looks really fancy and presents amazing. The trick with scallops is a smoking hot pan and not to touch the scallops until a nice sear is achieved and it's time to flip. 

FIRST: MAKE THE WHITE BEAN BASE

Saute some chopped shallots until soft, then dump in a can or large cooked batch of white beans. Bring up the temp, then cover the beans with white wine or broth, or both. Cover halfway and let the liquid cook down and absorb into the beans... mash half the beans with the back of a spoon. Squeeze in half a lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

SECOND: MAKE THE ARGULA PESTO

Put the following in a blender or processor and press "on": handful of arugula, small handful of park cheese, small handful of raw almonds, salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil slowly until a nice consistency is achieved. Salt and pepper to taste. 

THIRD: MAKE THE CHARD

Rip up some chard, including the stems if you like, and sauté in a bit of olive oil. Once they cook down a little, add a wine-glassful of white white and simmer until the wine is nearly all evaporated. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.


FOURTH: SEAR THE SCALLOPS.
Do about 4-5 scallops per person. Wash them, then pat them REALLY dry, if they are not dry they will not sear well. Season with salt and pepper, then place on a screaming hot oiled pan. Sear for 2-3 minutes per side until golden, remove and... 


Arrange all as seen in the photo. Enjoy. 

Breakfast - Huevos Rancheros



Ingredients: 
1/4 cup chopped onion
Serrano, Habanero, Jalapeño, and Chili Peppers (to taste)
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1- 16 ounce can of tomato sauce
Chili powder (Enough to darken the tomato sauce-be careful if you have weak stomach)
4 flour tortillas
4 eggs
Shredded Monterey Jack or Colby Cheese    


How:
- Chop onion and chili peppers. Mince garlic. 
- Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a small frying pan on low to medium heat. Add tomato sauce, onion, garlic, chili powder and chilis. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a larger frying pan, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and fry two tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side. Place tortillas on a warmed plate.

- In the same pan, fry the eggs (DO NOT turn the eggs). Place one egg on top of each tortilla, and fully cover eggs with sauce (The sauce will cook the top of the egg). 
- Serve with Refried Beans and warm Tortillas 

Drink - La Rosita

It's pink. But it'll level you.

2 oz. tequila reposado
1/2 oz. campari
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth

Shake well with ice, strain into a martini glass.

1. RAW ALBACORE WITH NOC JIM DRIZZLE.
And 2. GROUND ALBACORE WITH SPICY ROOSTER SAUCE


How easy it is.

ITEM 1:
Thinly slice albacore that's quality enough to be eaten raw, and thinly slice some avocado. Arrange on plate.

Using the noc jim from this recipe, strain through a cheese cloth. Keep the juice, toss the whole herbs/etc. Drizzle over your fish and avocado.

ITEM 2:
Using albacore, chop or grind the fish to a mush. Chopped is best. Mix in some thai chili sauce, lime, and salt. Spoon into a halved avocado. Spicy! Creamy!

Thai Style Whole Fried Fish with Sort of Nam Jim



First, make the spicy sweet nam jim:

2 garlic cloves
3-4 red chillies (to taste)
2 fresh cilantro root
2 tablespoons palm sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice


In a large pestle add the first three thing and roughly pound. Mash in the sugar, then add lime juice to taste.

Gut and descale fish. Perch works well as does snapper, and we've tried branzino and other bass but it's difficult if the fish is too big. Wash well and make some slashes in the skin with your knife. Then rub it all over with about 1/4 of the nam jim sauce you've made, getting it in the cavity and the slashes. Refrigerate the fish for a half hour.

Pat dry the fish, then dust with flour prior to frying... this will give the skin a crispiness. In a big wok, heat a couple inches of frying oil. Test the oil with a piece of potato... if the potato turns brown when you put it in, the oil is hot enough. Cook the fish for about 3 minutes per side until it looks like the photo.


Serve whole for a nice presentation. You can watch how to do this here:


MAIN - Confused Goal: Spicy Mexican Asian Ahi Poke Rice Bowl


This is one of those things that you eat after doing something active, like, say, surfing, and you feel great. Not tired or heavy or guilty. If you have a big enough bowl you can layer all the components on the bowl and the eater can mix and stir and pick bits as they like. We didn't have big bowls, so I deconstructed the bowl, which makes it really easy to see what goes into it.

This bowl should be spicy, so make sure to serve more chili paste or rooster sauce along side.

1. Rice. Cook this the best way you know how.
2. Avocado. Slice or cube this.
3. Greens. I did a quick saute of some swiss chard from our garden in some olive oil. Spinach would work well as would most dark greens. Just make sure to undercook the greens, because once you add them to the top of that hot rice they will cook even more. So leave some crunch to the greens.
4. The sauce. Serve it alongside. I mixed soy sauce, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, a touch of seasame oil, chili paste, and mashed garlic. You can taste and adjust as you'd like.
5. Poke. Cube sashimi grade ahi, then add flavor. We added green onion, mashed garlic, toasted pepitas, seasame oil, cilantro, soy sauce, lime, chili paste, and some mirin. We just did it by taste, and ended up with this weird but delicious poke that's not quite mexi and not very asian. Try for yourself and experiment. Just make sure to add citrus last.

Lastly, those flowers on top are arugula flowers from the garden.

DRESSING - Cilantro Lime Luxurious Lil Thing


This dressing is just fabulous, I tell you. Green Luxury. It goes so well with mexican type stuff you may be serving, or on its own as a salad, or perhaps drizzled on some eggs or veggies. As you can see here, we made a salad, putting it on a halved-head of romaine and finished it with tasted pepitas and goat cheese.

combine following in a blender or food processor:
- handful of cilantro
- spoonful of sour cream
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 spicy chile, like a serrano
- Juice from 2-3 limes

Drizzle in olive oil until a nice consistency is reached. Taste, add salt and pepper, and taste again, adding more of any of the above things 'till you're happy.