Thursday, April 19, 2007

A peek into RNPC Panfilo's cookbook: recipe 2/2

The second in this series of recipes may be familiar to players of about level 45 and up, as this is the first quest you can do with the proud, powerful magic-user from Absinia, the Port of Coimbra's Magic Items Merchant, M'Boma.


Percha Inzella: A recipe for spicy octopus legs [pulpo gallego]

This recipe was featured in the August 2006 issue of the food magazine Epicurious, credited to Jose Garces, and comes from their Web archive of past recipes.

Within GE, M'Boma asks you for help with his homesickness, and even treats you to a litany of complaints about how bland the food of Vespanola is, when compared to the flavorful, spicy, hot dishes of his native Absinia.

He therefore asks you to make a request of Panfilo: have the cook make him a dish of spicy octopus legs, to help ease his longings for home.

And since Panfilo believes in the freshness of ingredients, he makes you hunt the Barrel and Crate Octopus in Jezebel Glen to complete his dish.

3 (1- to 2-pound each) octopuses, cleaned
1/2 cup pickling spice
1/4 cup kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)

Cut tentacles from octopus heads (just below eyes) and discard heads.
In 5-quart heavy pot, combine tentacles and enough water to cover by two inches. Add pickling spice, salt, pepper flakes, and 1/2 cup lemon juice, and bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until octopus is tender, about 40 minutes.
Remove from heat, let rest 5 minutes, then drain.
Refrigerate tentacles until chilled, then cut into 3-inch pieces.
In large bowl, toss with remaining lemon juice and kosher salt to taste.

Serves 4.

Pulpo gallego trivia:

- a bit of irony comes from the fact that in the magazine, the recipe carried an English label of "Spanish Octopus" - when M'Boma was complaining that Vespanolan food [which is based on Spanish food] was flavorless

- when octopus is included in a dish of Japanese sashimi, it isn't really raw - both it and the squid in the presentation are most likely to have been parboiled before serving

- a more famous Japanese recipe for octopus would be the street food and snack takoyaki, wherein the octopus is cut into smaller pieces, battered, and fried on cast-iron molds, then eaten either on a stick, with chopsticks, or with toothpicks

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