Pan-Roasted Octopus with Marcona Almonds and Sherry Vinaigrette Served with Maple Butternut Squash by Alex Chen, Executive Chef, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Yields 6-8 servings
3 shallots, diced
2 tbsp grainy mustard
½ tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp sherry vinegar (available at gourmet food stores)
1 tbsp honey
¼ cup olive oil
1 pinch black pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Maple Butternut Squash:
1 small butternut squash
1 cup chicken stalk
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
Peel butternut squash and dice into approx. 2 cm x 2 cm pieces. In a sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, chicken stock, and maple syrup, and simmer. Add butternut squash and cook until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5 lbs octopus (Alex likes to purchase his at the Steveston Fish Market)
1 ½ tbsp kosher salt
2 pieces star anise
2 cups dry white wine
1 fennel bulb cut into 16
1 onion cut in 8
1 celery stalk cut in 8
1 bay leaf
5 pieces Marcona almonds (available at Gourmet Warehouse)
Mixed greens of your choice (suggested: watercress, celery hearts, frisée, nasturtiums, arugula, chervil, mustard frill)
1 tbsp olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil a large pot of water and simmer octopus for 40 minutes, or until tender. Cool in the sink in cold water for 20 minutes, and then refrigerate overnight. Remove, and cut into approx. 1 inch segments
Halve the lemon and orange. Chop fennel bulb into approx. 16 pieces. Chop both onion and celery stalk into approx. 8 pieces each. Boil 2 litres of water in a large pot, add white wine, and all ingredients except the octopus. Boil for 20 minutes and strain.
Shave red onion into very thin rings. Soak in water for 30 minutes to remove harshness. Remove from water and allow to dry.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan. Sear octopus for one minute on each side, and remove from pan. In a bowl, toss with lemon and sherry vinaigrette.
Arrange onions on plate, with the octopus on top. Place almonds and mixed greens around octopus, and drizzle greens with sherry vinaigrette. Serve with butternut squash on the side.
Alex Chen, Executive Chef, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Twitter: @blvdyvr @ChefAlexChen
Facebook: /blvdyvr /chefalexchen
Alex Chen’s culinary vision is an inspired recipe of family tradition and classical technique and training, combined with creative hints of international influences. From his childhood roots in Malaysia to his time in both Vancouver and California, the Pacific Rim and West Coast regions have helped form the basis for Alex’s innovative signature style, as well as his love for seafood. So, too, has his emphasis on sourcing the best fresh, local and in-season ingredients.
Alex joined Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar as Executive Chef after charting a top-10 finish representing Canada at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or culinary competition in Lyon, France in 2013. Before spending six years as the Executive Chef of the legendary Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Alex apprenticed at Vancouver’s Wedgewood Hotel, and held the roles of Senior Sous Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago and Chef de Cuisine at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.