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Wilfrid

Baby octopi

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So I am buying fish at the New Star counter in Essex Street Market, and I had already seen some New Zealand cockles way down the other end of the very long counter. My fish wrapped, the guy asks me “Anything else?”

Half a pound of cockles, I say, planning to use them as a garnish for a big pork shank I plan to braise. I have to repeat the order, but he goes down to where the cockles are, bags them, and I pay for them and the arctic char.

At home, my cockles turn out to be baby octopi. Maybe cockles sounds like octopus through a mask. Okay. Not going with the pork, but I see tapas coming up.

I have cooked the big octopus, even cleaned one, and squid of course, but never the little guys, although I ate plenty at El Portalon before it was gentrified. Fast cooking at high heat?

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yes. carbon steel or cast iron best so you can get it screaming hot enough first to crisp it up.

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