Boiled Octopus

This Friday we visited my favorite fresh (and imported) fish store. And while I was waiting for the ordered fish I suddenly remembered that I long wanted to make a salad of octopus. There were no fresh ones in the store – the “season” was only about to begin, but imported frozen ones were available. The one I ended up buying weighted about 4 kg (8.8 pounds) and looked quite fearsome – I would not want to face this beast alive 🙂 It ended up being a good thing that we bought a frozen octopus meat, since the flesh of grown-up octopus can be a bit harsh and will require softening (or freezing) before cooking anyway. In case of baby-octopus, you don’t need to cut them at all, they are usually used in salads in whole.

While the shop owner was cutting the octopus into 4 equal portions (the original was too big to fit in the regular home freezer as a whole) some people started asking me how to prepare it. Below you can find a very simple and tasty way of cooking octopus.



1 kg peeled* octopus
1 bay leaf
2 peas allspice
Freshly squeezed lemon juice from half of a regular-sized lemon
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
7.8 fresh parsley branches

* Peeled octopus (make sure to remove the head)

The process:

Put the octopus into a cooking pot, cover with a lid and start cooking. Do not add any water. Within a very short time you will see that the octopus’ natural liquids get extracted and start the boiling/cooking process. Reduce the heat, add the pepper and the bay leaf and cook until tender. In our case, it took almost half an our of cooking to bring it to the desired condition, thanks to the fact that the meat was frozen. Fresh octopus would require significantly longer time, whereas baby octopus would require less. Try probing it with a knife – the flesh should be soft. Cool and drain the juice – it can be frozen and used as a basis for soup or sauce for pasta dishes.

Now you need to peel the skin. There is no need to go crazy about it, the main goal is to remove the coarse large pieces near the basis of the tentacles. Cut into rings, approximately 1.5 cms (1/2 inch) wide.

Peel the leaves from the parsley branches chop finely. Mix the parsley with lemon juice, vinegar and oil, and pour the resulting sauce over the octopus. Leave the resulting dish approximately half an hour to soak the taste and become uniform. Adding salt is not necessary – it is already quite salty.


Although a matter of personal taste, but we eat it as it comes out of the refrigerator, below room temperature.

Sweet Pumpkin Pie

This pie was originally conceived in September 2010. When working on it, the filling was actually prepared by our (then) 2.5 years-old daughter.


Ingredients for the pie base:

270 gr. flour
150 gr. cold butter
25 gr. sugar powder
A pinch of salt
6 tablespoons of ice-cold water (*)

Ingredients for the filling:

400 gr. pumpkin puree
10 gr. (small pack) of vanilla sugar (or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence)
7-8 tbsp sugar
4 eggs
1 full spoon of  starch
Juice of half a lemon
Orange peel from two oranges

Pie baking form – 28cm is diameter.

Pie Base:

Sift flour with salt and sugar powder. Cut the butter into small cubes. Mix them all together and with a knife create a formation similar to bread crumbs (this can be done inside a food processor using a blade attachment). Put the resulting crumbs into a bowl, add the water and stir the eventual dough (quickly). For the dough into a ball shape, wrap with kitchen cellophane wrap and put into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

The Filling:

I did not weigh the pumpkin, therefore I can only talk about the amount of the resulting mash.

Cut the pumpkin into small pieces and cook in a covered pot over low heat until tender, about 30 minutes (without salt or sugar, you can add a tablespoon of water). Turn the resulting tender mass into a puree with a blender until smooth. Let the puree rest until it reaches room temperature.

Add all the remaining ingredients stirring them in until the sugar is dissolved completely and a uniform mass is obtained.

Splash the pie baking form with a bit of oil. Roll the dough to the size of the form, put in shape and cut off the edges. In order to avoid the possibility of liquids from the mash soaking into the basis, I baked the basis for 20 minutes (under weight) at 200C (392F).

Pour the filling at the baked foundation and cook for 30 additional minutes at 180C (356F). In the end, the filling should be have an “elastic” touch (you can see my fingerprint in the photo below, as I checked it ahead of time – be careful).


Leave in the refrigerator for a night before consumption. Make an effort not to eat it all at once 🙂

*My way of making ice-cold water: pour room-temperature water into a cup and add some ice cubes from the freezer.