Polvo de Minha Mãe | Mom's Octopus

Weekend with home-made food... makes a very happy Michele. Every meal was made with love, minus the pizza on Friday night. I'm blessed to be surrounded by so many good cooks. No wonder I have a food blog, I'm just trying to keep up with their wisdom.

My sister came into town Friday night for the John Stewart rally in DC and naturally her mom went a little crazy in the kitchen. She made a ridiculously huge pot of feijoada, rice, and bread.

Dessert was this really neat cake from a Portuguese magazine. It's a white cake with what we call pudding/flan on top. It was slightly over cooked hence the caramel is so dark but I kinda like that. It gave an almost coffee flavor. I'm going to swipe the recipe from her soon enough! By the end of dinner Saturday night, my side was bursting from laughter and good food.

To my delight, the following morning my mom busted out a heaping octopus for lunch. I love octopus, it's one of my family favorites. This is how we usually cook it (see above). It's kind of like calamari but without the breading and deep fryer.

Once you're done boiling it-- you can use a cup full of the water to cook with rice. Add a few bits of the cooked octopus and you have another dish!

So if you ever get hold of an octopus... now you'll know what to do with it! The meat is white, soft, and delicious. There's a distinct after taste. I know it's not for everyone, my brother has a hard time getting over the suckers but screw it- it's too yummy to let that get in the way!

One big ol' octopus, fresh or thawed
3-4 eggs
salt to taste
pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
bunch of parsley
veggie or canola oil for frying

In a large pot, submerge octopus in water and sprinkle in some salt. Bring water to a boil and cover with top. Lower heat so it does not overflow and let cook until the octopus is tender to the prick of a fork, 40-60 minutes.

Use a strainer and drain pot. Let the octopus cool down. While it's cooling, prepare the egg coating. Beat eggs in a medium sized bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Make sure it's nice and fluffy! Add as much parsley as you want. We've had a parsley garden since I was a child, so it's never lacking. If you feel like adding red pepper flakes, go for it!

Heat about 1/2 an inch of veggie/canola oil in a deep frying pan. Let it get hot (not bubbling) and lower heat slightly.

Cut the octopus into 2 inch pieces. You don't have to keep the skin that falls off. Dip into egg batter and coat entirely. Carefully place into heated oil. Let the egg cook through and flip. Place on a plate layered with paper towels.
If you want to be traditional, serve with black olives and more parsley sprinkled on top.