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Octopus Pot Pies

Welcome to the new Kali Orexi! I made some changes to my site and hope you find them agreeable. Any comments or suggestions that you think may provide some improvement are, of course, welcome. But I hope you enjoy it as is! I set out to make a few simple changes. “What could be so difficult?” I thought. Well, small changes or large, creating a new site is a feat indeed. I’m sure there will be some tweaking and some updating along the way, but for now here it is …

And to help unveil my new site, I’m offering you a new recipe: Octopus Pot Pies. Octopus is a big part of the Greek island diet. On the island of Kalymnos, from which my family is from, it is a major part and can be found either made into octopus balls/croquettes, simply grilled or cooked in wine. One key difference between the octopus found in Kalymnos and that found sold here is the custom of drying the octopus in the sun prior to using it and therefore creating a very distinct flavor.  I won’t be putting out octopus to dry in the yard anytime soon, so I can’t really get that flavor here in NYC … 

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Regardless, I can still enjoy octopus and this dish is a great way to do just that. Wanting to create a comforting, warming dish I combined some distinctly Greek flavors with the soul-satisfying idea of pot pies. I sauteed the octopus in some olive oil along with some squid, a bit of onion, garlic and some chopped carrots then simmered it in red wine and chopped tomatoes accented with Greek bay leaves for additional depth of flavor.

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Making this dish even heartier were some cubed red skinned potatoes which simmered in the flavorful sauce as well. Before dividing the mixture among individual dishes, I stirred in some Greek trahana (a sour pasta of sorts) to thicken it just a bit, then topped each dish with a round of puff pastry and baked the pot pies until the mixture was bubbly (and preferably “oozing” ) beneath the golden pastry.

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Octopus Pot Pies

(Makes 8 to 10 small pot pies)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 octopus (1.25 lbs), cut into large chunks

4 squid, cleaned and cut into thin rings

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 small carrots, diced

2 bay leaves

5 peppercorns

Pinch of Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 to 3/4 cup red wine

2/3 cup tomatoes

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into a 3/4-inch dice

1/3 cup trahanas

Handful of parsley, finely chopped

Salt, to taste

Puff pastry (if using frozen, thaw per package directions before use)

 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the octopus. Cook for a minute, stirring, then add the squid, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns and Aleppo pepper and cook for a minute more. Add the wine and bring to a boil; then stir in the tomatoes; season with salt; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Place the potatoes in the skillet, cover and cook for about 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove octopus from burner, stir in the trahana and then divide the mixture amongst individual ramekins (or one large baking dish). Sprinkle with parsley and cover with a round of puff pastry; pressing the pastry against the rim of the dish to seal the pies. Cut an X into the center of the puff pastry; place on a baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes until the pastry is golden and the mixture is bubbly. Serve immediately.

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14 Responses to “Octopus Pot Pies”

  1. Peter says:

    Kaloriziko….looking good, Maria!

    Only a Nisotissa could come up with an octopus pot pie! More comfort food for the winter months.

  2. Peter G says:

    Maria, the site looks beautiful as does your octopus recipe! I’m loving all the flavours especially the addition of trahana!

  3. Konstantina says:

    Kaloriziko Maria!
    Your new “home” looks great! Simple and elegant!
    And this octopus pie is mpoukia kai sygxorio;))

  4. Ivy says:

    Maria kaloriziko. Unbelievable. Check your e-mail. I sent you an e-mail before I saw your post. The new look is “fantastiko” and the octopus pie sounds delicious.

  5. Alison says:

    Love the new site! Looks clean and smooth, very appealing.
    Always love your recipes! Ευχαριστώ πολύ και να ‘σαι καλά!

  6. maria says:

    i love octopus – i dont eat it as often as i would wish to

    lovely new site too!

  7. Nora says:

    I love the new site. Looks great – as do those pies! :D

  8. Joan Nova says:

    I’d love to try this! Octopus in pastry, couldn’t be more delicious sounding! Opa!

  9. Hopie says:

    I love the look of your new website! Beautifully done!

  10. Very special dish! Congrats with the blog move, looks just great : )

  11. Anna A. says:

    Can I come over next time you make this? Please!

  12. Muneeba says:

    Ooo, like the new home! And those are some unique pot pies. Great octopus dishes are something rare .. not everyone knows how to handle it .. but I’m telling ya, you could make a fortune with these pot pies!!! SO YUMMMMMM looking!

  13. His all holiness Kosta says:

    need a photographer? will work for food

  14. [...] 6. Octopus pot pie. Well, it looks like an octopus. For a real octopus pie, might I direct your attention here. [...]

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