May 13, 2009

The Results - Arroz Con Pulpo (Octopus Paella)

octopus paella
First of all I feel like I need to apologize for the delay in posting the results to this recipe. I had cooked it for mothers day and planned to do all the post-cooking posting on Monday night.....but....I became an auntie! My sister-in-law got a very nice late mothers day present and I now have a tiny little niece call Sasha Belle. She's cute and at only a couple days old already taking up a whole heap of my time. So please forgive me, but if you want to blame someone, blame 4 day old Sasha! hehehe

So onto the results. I'm pleased to say that it turned out ok. I was really worried about it and thought that I would do a poor job. The rice was nice and fluffy, yay! and the octopus was extremely tender. I highly recommend cooking octopus this way. It was so tender, so much so that it withstood refrigeration and then microwaving the next day, and it was still as tender as when it first come out of the pan.

I did find it a bit bland though. I thought it needed a bit of a kick, maybe a little chilli, or maybe some smoked paprika so it could make up for the lack of other ingredients. I must say though, the next day it tasted a thousand times better. The flavours seemed to develop and become a bit more pronounced and in the end I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

So here are some photos.....

sofrito before cooking down
All the ingredients in to be cooked down for the sofrito

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I'm so glad that I choose to cook the chicken to make the sofrito, it made it so extremely tasty. I had a little left over so on the next night I cooked some pasta and tossed the remaning sofrito into the pasta with a little olive oil. Gosh it was delicious. I will cook it again just to make this pasta dish.

octopus cooking
Octopus cooking

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The stock that the octopus made turned such a brilliant pink colour, almost violet. Once the rice was cooked in the stock, it turned it a pale grapefruit colour. Very pleasing to the eye.

sofrito in pan
Sofrito in the pan

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rice in the pan
Rice added and tossed to cook individual rice grains with sofrito

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stock in
Followed by the stock

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octopus in
A few minutes later the rice has fluffed up and the octopus slices are arranged around the pan

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parsely and paprika please
Lastly, the parsely and paprika is scattered around the pan and its almost ready to be served

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There is one thing that I got completly wrong though. My socorat (crust) turned out more burnt than crusty. But if I had taken the rice off the heat any sooner it would have been undercooked and possibly unplesant. Luckily the burnt socorat did not ruin the taste of the paella. 

socorat gone wrong
Burnt socorat

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I may not cooked this dish again, but I will deffinately cook my octopus in this way in the future. Everyone should try it, it will completely change your mind on what tender octopus is.

6 comments:

Rilsta said...

Wow, what a fabulous job you have done! I love the first photo... it looks delicious (even though I wouldn't go near octopus!).

Congrats Aunty on your new niece!

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

The photo of the burnt socorat looks beautiful, which hopefully makes up for the cleaning. The sofrito sounds lovely and versatile.

FFichiban said...

Congratz ^^! How fun! The paella looks greattt mmmm! I feel liks Spanish nooww!

Stephcookie said...

Wow what a stunning looking dish! That octopus stock sounds so good, especially the colour! I'm completely awestruck right now...

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Hi Rilsta - Oh you're missing out on so much, you gotta have some octopus. Its not as scary as it seems.

Hi Arwen - I'm pretty pleased at the way the photos turned out, so that a bonus at the very least, as for the sofrito, it was freakin delicious!

Hi FFichiban - Hmmmm, I feel like spanish too!

Hi Stephcookie - I LOVED the colour of the stock, it was so deep and vivid, I wish the camera could capture what my eye could see, my photography skills are not quite that great!

Anita said...

Great looking photos! Pity you won't make it again, but I'm glad you found a good recipe for octopus.