Pressure Cooker Potato & Octopus Salad

Total Time
50mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins

Octopus has a bad reputation for being tough and rubbery when cooked at home. However, if you know the secrets to tenderizing it you will be able to make this exotic (outside of Italy, anyway) salad with just the right bite! When you buy fresh octopus, you need to either freeze and thaw it or beat it vigorously to tenderize it before cooking. If your fish-monger has fresh octopus ask him if he will tenderize the octopus for you. Otherwise, when you get home spend about half an hour banging on the stiff invertebrate or flinging it against your neighborhood's rocky landscaping to counteract the rigor mortis or... you can just put it in the freezer. I let the octopus defrost for a day in the refrigerator before using it for this recipe. from the Hip Pressure Cooking website

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. First, remove the head, slit it in half and turn it inside out to empty it's contents and the little attached things including the eyes (see illustration, below). Then, remove the beak in the center where all of the tentacles meet. Rinse the octopus under running water.
  2. Wash and scrub the potatoes well and place them whole, un-peeled, in the pressure cooker. Add enough water to just cover the potatoes half-way with a pinch of salt.
  3. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker and turn the heat to high. When the pan reaches pressure, lower the flame to minimum heat and begin counting 15 minutes cooking time under pressure.
  4. When the time is up, release all of the vapor, remove the potatoes with tongs (reserve the cooking water), and peel them while they are as hot as you can handle. I use tongs and a fork to get started - they are so easy to peel when they are still steaming hot!
  5. Next, cook the octopus. Add more water in the pressure cooker (enough to almost cover the octopus), 1 whole garlic clove, the Bay leaf, the whole pepper and bring to a boil before adding the octopus.
  6. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker and turn the heat to high. When the pan reaches pressure, lower the flame to minimum heat and begin counting 15 minutes cooking time under pressure.
  7. When the time is up, release all of the vapor, and check the octopus for tenderness by seeing if a fork will sink easily in the thickest part of the flesh. If not, close the top and bring it to pressure for another minute or two and check again.
  8. When the octopus is ready, remove and drain the it (save the cooking water and use as broth for making Risotto ai Frutti di Mare!). Remove any remaining skin from the octopus by lightly dragging a knife blade on the back-end and sides of the tentacles - only remove the skin from the suction-cup side if you want to remove the suction cups. Chop the head and tentacles into small bite-sized chunks.
  9. While the octopus is cooking, you can prepare the vinaigrette by putting the following in a small jar or plastic container: ½ cup of good olive oil, 4-5 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, two crushed garlic cloves, salt and ground pepper to taste. Close the lid and shake, shake, shake to blend.
  10. Dice the potatoes in pieces roughly the same size as the octopus chunks, unite them with the octopus, cover in the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the whole bunch of chopped parsley.