OCTOPUS WITH OUZO AND KALAMATA OLIVES
(Htapothi me Elies kai Ouzo)
Ouzo and octopus go naturally together in the mind of the Greek gourmet! Usually though, they appear in another form– grilled octopus accompanied by a few shots of sweet, anise-flavored ouzo as one of the best mezes. Here, the flavors meld instead inside the pot!
1 large octopus (3-4 pounds)
1/3 cup Krinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 medium onions, peeled, halved, and sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 1/2 cups (1 small can) plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup Krinos Pitted Kalamata Olives, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup ouzo
Salt, to taste
Remove the head from the octopus and discard. Squeeze out its beak-like mouth. Rinse. Place the octopus in a large pot with no liquid. Cover the pot and let the octopus cook in its own juices over very low heat for 45 minutes. Remove, leaving all the pot juices inside. Cut the octopus into eight pieces (separate by the tentacles in other words).
Heat the olive oil in the pot and sauté the onions until wilted. Add the garlic and stir for one minute. Place the octopus back in the pot, cover with tomatoes and their juices, and add the peppercorns, bay leaf, and enough water just to cover the octopus. Cover and simmer for another 50 minutes over low heat.
Ten minutes before removing the octopus from heat, add the Krinos Pitted Kalamata Olives and ouzo. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4-6 servings