Grilled Octopus with Roasted Bell Pepper Ice Cream
Octopus cooked sous-vide and then finished on the grill is one of my favorites. Octopus and squid go well with bell peppers. It is so hot that I wanted to serve something refreshing, and so I thought: “Why not make roasted bell pepper ice cream to serve with the octopus?” I had never made roasted bell pepper ice cream before, but I made it up and it turned out very nice and a great accompaniment to the octopus.
The roasted bell pepper ice cream is also great by itself, in case octopus or sous-vide are not available to you. Here’s what I did…
For 4 servings (I actually made only 3 and had some bell pepper ice cream left over)
4 octopus legs
4 bell peppers
250 ml (1 cup) heavy cream
3 egg yolks
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp good balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
fresh flat leaf parsley
Start by roasting the peppers for 25 minutes in the oven at 250ºC/480ºF until they are charred.
Put the peppers in a plastic bag and close it.
Allow the peppers to cool in the plastic bag. The steam will help to loosen the skin.
You should now be able to remove the skin easily. Also remove the stems and seeds. Holding the peppers under cold running water makes it easier to remove the seeds.
Pat the bell pepper dry with paper towels. You should now have about 400 grams (.9 lb) of bell pepper.
Use a blender or food processor to reduce the bell pepper to puree.
Put a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add the bell pepper puree.
Cook, stirring, to make it thicker and concentrate the flavors.
Season with the balsamic, sugar, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
It is done when it is no longer watery, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning (using balsamic, sugar, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper), taking into account on the one hand that the flavors will be diluted in the ice cream, but on the other that you don’t want to crowd out the bell pepper flavor either.
Pass the bell pepper puree through a food mill fitted with a fine disc to make it completely smooth.
Put the puree in a saucepan.
Add the cream…
…and the egg yolks.
Whisk to mix.
Heat this mixture, stirring all the time, until it reaches a temperature of 85ºC/185ºF. Then turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
Transfer the mixture to a jug, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold.
In the meantime, vacuum seal the octopus legs and cook them sous-vide for 4 hours at 77ºC/170ºF.
Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When the ice cream is done…
…transfer it to a plastic container and put in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up.
The octopus legs will lose a lot of liquid when cooked sous-vide. That is normal. You can discard the liquid or use it for a sauce, stock, soup or risotto.
Pat the octopus legs dry with paper towels, and toss them with some olive oil to coat.
Put a handful of parsley in the blender with 60 ml (1/4 cup) of good extra virgin olive oil.
Blend until completely smooth.
Pass this mixture through a very fine sieve with the help of a spoon.
Brush the plates with the parsley oil.
This is mostly for presentation purposes, but it tastes nice too.
Cook the octopus legs over a hot charcoal fire until lightly charred.
Serve the octopus legs with a nice scoop of roasted bell pepper ice cream on the prepared plates.
We paired this with a prosecco, and it was excellent.