We don't eat much octopus in the U.S., which frankly is a darn shame. My guess is that we shy away from it because of its large tentacles, something that can be daunting. But fear not! The way I look at it is this: if you can cut up a whole chicken, you can cook a small octopus! Just think of it as yet another culinary adventure! When octopus is prepared properly it is tender, delicate and delicious - though, admittedly, when not, it's like chewing on erasers. The trick is to cook it slowly for a long period of time until the flesh is tender and succulent.
One of my favorite dishes is ceviche de pulpo. Once the octopus (pulpo in Spanish) has been thoroughly cooked it is then marinated for a few hours (or overnight) in citrus juices and salt. When mixed with diced red onions, cilantro and a bit of avocado it is pure delight! The best thing about any ceviche is it lasts a few days in the fridge - only getting better and better as it marinates in the limey juices. Perfect for a warm weather al fresco dinner or a lovely lunch in the sun.
Click here for the recipe and more on Ceviche de Pulpo: