Alls Well That Ends Well ( Octopus and La Bourride)

I thought I was being very clever on Sunday. Grabbed something out of the Fish freezer, went off to golf, thinking that dinner was more or less sorted upon our return! What I had thought was that Baby Octopus would only need a quick burst on a BBQ and it would be perfect. Quickly made some wonderful Aioli and dinner was ready ! How wrong could I be! Actually I have never cooked octopus before in any shape or form but thought baby octopus, easy ! No! It was an absolute disaster. Hence our Sunday night dinner, was……… a BLT!

Never one to throw away food, nor giving up, when something goes wrong. Therefore, what did I have? A pile of baby octopus and a quantity of really good Aioli. This I just covered and left at room temperature ( it would separate if I had refrigerated it) and the octopus was bagged and refrigerated. But what to do with both of the ingredients? La Bourride sprang to mind

La Bourride, along with Aioli are two of the wonderful dishes of Provence. Normally it would be made with a firm white fish, but I used a variety of fish, basically an assortment of what was in the freezer. I used, Salmon, Tilapia, Cod, Mussels, Squid, Large Shrimp and the Octopus. The octopus I put in some boiling water and cooked on high in the Microwave for 8 minutes or so, having a quick taste during the cooking process to see if was tender. The cooking liquid then became my fish stock.

For the Aioli for +/- 6 people

  • Allow at least 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Yolks of 3 eggs or 2 yolks and one whole egg
  • 1 pint/ approx 1/2 litre good olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice 1/2 lemon ( zest, optional)
  • Then normally this is it, but Rose Harissa is a good addition or a squirt of tomato paste.
  • Very easy to make, but don’t be impatient. Using eggs and oil at room temperature.
  • Mix the crushed garlic with the salt and the eggs
  • Slowly VERY Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking all the while. I use a Bamix stick blender to do this.
  • Keep pouring in the oil
  • The sauce gets thicker and thicker and a good Aioli should be almost solid. Add the extras if using them along with the lemon juice.
  • If by any chance the aioli curdles, then beat another egg yolk and slowly pour in the curdled egg mixture beating all the while.

For my Bourride

  • I used a variety of fish as already mentioned along with
  • 1 leek finely chopped
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • +/-20 centilitre olive oil
  • 1 pint stock ( fish or vegetable , shop bought is ok
  • Small carton of thick cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste, chopped parsley as garnish
  • French bread or potatoes to serve
  • Sauté the leeks, onion and garlic until soft but not brown. Remove from pan and put to one side.
  • With a little more oil, sauté the fish that has been cut into bite size bits. When all cooked add the leeks, onion and garlic. Put into a serving dish
  • Bring the stock to the boil,add the cream and pour it over the aioli
  • Pour all over the fish and serve with the potatoes or French bread.
  • Traditionally, the French bread would have been cut into slices and fried as in fried bread, but Himself doesn’t like fried bread so he had potatoes !

Seems a bit of Paff, no not really and the plus point is that excess will freeze easily. I added the Rose Harissa to give a little more oomph and a little more colour! Personal preference!

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