Fresh octopus must be softened. This may be done by beating it with a heavy object such as a rolling pin. You can also freeze it for two days and defrost it the day before cooking it (put it in a bowl because it will release a lot of liquid). Dice onion and add it to a pan with water. When it begins to boil, add the octopus. Grab its head and dip it in the pan three times. After the third dip, leave it in the pan. Cook for 50 minutes. Once cooked, remove the pan from the fire and let it cool for 15 minutes. Using the same water in which the octopus was cooked, cook the potatoes (previously peeled and diced). While they boil, dice the octopus in medium sized slices. When the potatoes are cooked, remove from water and add to a platter. Add the octopus slices on top. Add the olive oil and paprika and coarse salt. You can prepare vinaigrette previously or add the ingredients separately.
(Larry took the photo of the pulpo that he and Joel ate at the cafe-bar at the hospital in Spain.)
TARTA DE SANTIAGO (ST. JAMES ALMOND CAKE) • Adapted from Cooking with the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf
Several eateries in Santiago, Spain, serve an almond cake in honor of their patron saint, St. James. The sweet treat is called “Tarta de Santiago” and features his cross as a decorative topping with powdered sugar.