Grilled Octopus and Cuttlefish!

by Michelle on September 5, 2009

Cuttlefish (various sources):

Cuttlefish as their name suggests are not actually fish but mollusks, which are amongst the most intelligent species. The cuttlefish is found in areas of the English Channel, along the West coast of Africa and also in the Mediterranean Sea. The cuttlefish belongs to the Sepiida class which also includes the Squids, the Octopus and the Nautiluses.

The cuttlefish are also called the chameleon of the sea. They have a very great ability to change their pattern for various purposes. The change of coloration is due to the special cells called chromatophores. The cells change colors when the individual cells expand or contract. Therefore, the cuttlefish are known to blend into many backgrounds with ease. The cuttlefish can therefore change into colors of gold, green, silver, blue etc.

Mr. Tastebuds and I love Octopus and I make it several times a year. Well my market had baby Octopus on sale and then I found some Cuttlefish which I’ve never tasted nor cooked before. I don’t think I need to tell you that this was going to be one visually interesting dish!

I usually marinate Octopus over night and pop it under the broiler. But this time I decided to marinate the Octopus and then try out our new grilling basket! The grilling basket worked out perfectly for both the Octopus and Cuttlefish. I served the grilled Octopus and Cuttlefish over linguine with a light creamy garlic sauce and garnished with green onion. And it was not only an exciting dish to make but delicious as well!

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Marinade for Octopus
Recipe developed in the kitchen of Big-Black-Dog

1/2 c or so of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2-3 TBL Balsamic Vinegar or 1/2 c. red wine
3-4 large fresh basil leaves, minced
sprig of fresh tarragon

Mix all the ingredients together pour into a shallow covered dish or a secure zip lock bag. Make sure that whatever you are marinating is completely covered with the mix. If there’s not enough liquid to completely cover just rotate every few hours.

NOTE: Octopus can be quite chewy, so I usually marinate it over night.

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Garlic Cream and Green Onion Sauce
Recipe developed in the kitchen of Big-Black-Dog

1 lb linguine
3 TBL EVOO
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp anchovy paste
3-4 green onions, sliced into 1/8″ coins including the tops
6-10 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 c. cream
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, finely grated **See Note
1/2 c. parsley, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Option: 1/4 c. dry white wine

In a large kettle, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to pkg directions. I add about 1 TBL EVOO to my pasta water too but that’s me!

As soon as you put the pasta water on to boil, heat 3 TBL EVOO in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Gently saute the whole garlic cloves until each clove is just golden brown and easily pieced with a fork. Remove garlic cloves and on a cutting board mash cloves with a fork and mix with anchovy paste. Turn burner off.

As soon your pasta water begins to boil and you’ve added the pasta, reheat the sauce pan of oil. Return mashed garlic/anchovy paste to the warm EVOO and simmer for a minute. Add basil and green onions, gently stir, making sure the mashed garlic is distributed and simmer for about 1-2 minutes. Add cream, Parmesan cheese, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Toss sauce with drained pasta and serve.

NOTE: I like my pasta sauces thin but if you’d like a thicker sauce just add more Parmesan cheese.

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Are you game enough to try it?


Gadgets that Work

Grilling Basket

I bought the grilling basket sometime last year towards the end of the summer and it was in the sale bin. Not being sure if we’d ever use it I did not want to spend a lot of money so the $9 price tag was within my limit.

Well, I finally tried out the basket with the Octopus and Cuttlefish and I LOVE IT!

The grilling basket is very easy to use just place food inside the 2-piece basket and latch the basket together. The 2-piece basket has 3 adjustable settings and holds food firmly in place. And being there’s a top and bottom to the basket it’s a snap to just flip the basket for even, over-all grilling.

The non-stick finish cleans up quickly either by hand or machine. And the 14 1/2″ wooden handle stays cool and is plenty long enough to keep hands at a safe distance from the grill. Also being rather flat it is so easy to store, we just keep ours in the coat closet in our mud room.

I really did like the basket but there is one problem. I wish the grid was a bit smaller so that I could grill shrimp. When it came time to grill some shrimp, I skewered the shrimp first then put them in the basket and the skewers prevented the shrimp from slipping through the grate. Ta-Da…grilled shrimp and it was so much easier to flip the basket then trying to flip skewered shrimp!

All Rights Reserved 2008-9 © Big Black Dog

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Comments

  • katrina September 5, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Oh jeez, I don’t know if I’m brave enough to eat those little guys:) Beautiful recipe and pictures, but I get squeamish around octopus. I once saw a movie that had a killer octopus and I get the willies ever since when I see those little suckers. I know, such a girl.

  • Chow and Chatter September 6, 2009 at 12:11 am

    they look great i am not keen on them but so happy you and hubby had a lovely meal Rebecca

  • Cat September 6, 2009 at 1:09 am

    I can’t wait to try them myself ! Wish my hubby would eat seafood.
    Love your blog !

  • Natashya KitchenPuppies September 6, 2009 at 4:01 am

    What a brave cook you are! Looks awesome, I love your pictures.

  • Lori E September 6, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    No, I can’t say that I will eat that. I love fish, regular fish such a salmon, halibut, cod, sole, snapper but I can’t even wash the pots out if someone cooks shellfish. I end up with my head in the toilet.
    Visually when I look at it I find it pretty and interesting but I have to wonder how hungry the first person to ever eat something like that must have been.

  • by keiara - lampwork beads September 7, 2009 at 9:26 am

    The pictures are gorgeous but I have to admit, I don’t know if I could cook it.. or eat it! Cuttlefish are my favourite sea-dwellers. I saw a Discovery program about them that suggested they actually use a form of sign language! Interesting little creatures :) xox

  • Kayte September 7, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Nope, not brave enough to try, but I LOVE the photos…you are such a good photographer as those photos really capture everything. Still not eating it. LOL. Nice gadget review.

  • Kate September 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    The last time I had octopus was many years ago in Athens. You are an adventurous cook! Great photography.

  • Kathleen September 9, 2009 at 2:08 am

    OMG, no! A clam on the half shell is too adventurous for me!

  • liisamarja September 10, 2009 at 7:58 am

    wow, i so need to try this! we just returned from a holiday in rhodes, greece. i ate octopus and kalamari 4 times in that week. if there is octopus on the menu, it’s most often what i’ll have. i’ve learned over the years that you should not over-cook octopus, it’s more likely to be even more chewy. just a shame, all seafood we get is frozen…

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