Updated: Jul 24
Saturday nights in the "before times" used to mean getting together with friends and going out to get dinner and drinks at one of our favorite restaurants. Those days are (hopefully) not too far away again, but in the meantime, we like to make sure weekend nights still feel at least a little bit special. In our house, that usually translates to picking a project recipe to tackle together or trying to recreate a dish from a past trip or favorite restaurant.
We've been reminiscing recently about a dish we had one gorgeous weekend afternoon at the Lobby Bar at the Terranea Resort, a beautiful property located just up the coast from our house. It was a charred octopus dish with chorizo and a slightly tangy sauce that just brought the whole thing together. Although I decided to make my version more substantial - an entree instead of an appetizer - I could still feel that day's warm sunshine on my skin and hear the jazz music playing softly in the background the second I took my first bite.
Note: For absolute best results, I highly recommend the chorizo from The Choriman, a local artisan chorizo shop here in Southern California. If you decide to use more widely available fresh chorizo, note that you may want to drain the cooked chorizo on a paper towel, as it tends to be much more oily than The Choriman's products.
Enough of my babbling. Let's crank up some jazz and get cooking!
Charred Octopus with Smashed Fingerling Potatoes, Chorizo, and Relajo Beurre Blanc
1 pound fingerling potatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
4 large pre-cooked, sashimi-grade octopus tentacles
1/2-pound (8 ounces) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
1 tablespoon Five-Chile Relajo
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Pickled red onion, thinly sliced radishes, and cilantro for serving
Preheat oven to 450F. Place fingerling potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Season with a generous amount of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Using the back of a wooden spoon, smash the cooked potatoes so they are flat-ish but still intact. Drizzle the potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and roast until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp around the edges, 20-30 minutes.
Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and return to the fridge to keep cold.
Cook chorizo in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Transfer cooked chorizo to a bowl and set aside, leaving about a tablespoon of fat in the skillet. Add minced shallot to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add relajo and stir to combine. Add wine and vinegar and increase heat to bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes.
Once the wine and vinegar has reduced, fetch the butter from the fridge. Reduce the heat under the skillet to low. Add the butter 1-2 cubes at a time as you swirl the skillet over the heat, allowing the butter to melt fully and mix together with the liquid before adding more butter. The swirling motion will help the mixture emulsify and become smooth as you continue adding the rest of the butter. Season to taste with kosher salt.
Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Pat the octopus dry and then rub with a little bit of olive oil. Place the octopus on the hot grill and char on all sides.
Arrange the smashed potatoes on a platter. Top with the chorizo and the charred octopus. Drizzle with sauce and top with pickled red onions, radishes, and cilantro. Serve immediately.