The other day John and Danny were walking the beach on the way into town when they met a couple of fishermen. These Ticos were actually surface supplied divers who fished with spear guns instead of fishing rods. It was early in the morning and they were just getting ready to set out. When asked what they were fishing for they mentioned langosta (small spiny lobsters) and pulpo which are small octopus as well as other fish like grouper and shrimps. They told John and Danny to come back at three to check out the catch.
When asked it they would like anything our neighbours mentioned that they would like to try the octopus. Charlotte and Gordon are from Vancouver and have recently retired to Coco Beach and have been living here full time since last September….oh how we envy them. They both enjoy cooking and sounds like Gordon was up to a new challenge but I think Charlotte was a bit sceptical. We all won out when Danny and John picked up both langostas ($12/kilo) and 2 octopus ($8/kilo)
To prepare the octopus Gord parboiled it for about an hour to tenderize it and then placed it in a marinade for an hour or so. The marinade is a mix that they brought from BC that I haven’t seen before but is a blend of Greek spices including garlic, onion, oregano. Charlotte says it really picks up a greek salad. I’m not exactly sure when but they mentioned that they took off the head and grilled the legs only. They had the pulpo with a greek salad and were kind enough to let us try some. It was really tasty and amazingly tender and I think even Charlotte was surprised. Maybe we can talk Gord and Charlotte into showing John how to do this. Not that we could get fresh octopus in Brampton but we heard yesterday that the St Lawrence market in Toronto was named the world’s best food market by National Geographic and I am sure we could get some there. Otherwise we may need to go to Detroit….Ha Ha. They’re still playing hockey in Canada eh ?
We were not quite as adventureous to try cooking our own pulpo but John tried octopus carpachio at a local Italian restaurant in town. Danny mentioned that he had it there regularly as an entree with a glass of wine but when we arrived at the restaurant we discovered that it had recently changed hands. The Dolce Vita had a new chef from Italy who had recently left a five star michelin restaurant in Italy to come to Costa Rica and this happened to be the daily special. I think we had a bit of a communication issue as the waiter spoke a little spanish, italian and english and the carpacio appeared to be more of an appetizer size than a main.
There are a number of interesting recipes online but this one looked especially nice that I would like to try sometime. http://www.italian-food-lovers.com/2008/05/chef-network-recipe-chef-doud-davico-presents-octopus-carpaccio-with-blood-oranges/