This season Maxwell has really hit his fishing stride. Not just fishing behind the boat while we are traveling but spearfishing too. Of course we are always on the lookout for spiny lobsters but as we learn more about the creatures on the reef, our options grow. The other day we were swimming the amazing and large reef off of the northern tip of Long Island together when we surfaced at the same time to Maxwell bellowing "OCTOPUS, OCTOPUS!" I looked down and there was a black cloud of ink just below my flippers. Once it cleared I saw the grayish blob still clinging to a nearby rock. It took Maxwell a few dives just to pull him loose.
Later when we were back at the boat, having speared a lobster as well, we were a bit perplexed as what to do with the thing. Maxwell's job is catching and cleaning and mine is cooking. I read about the octopus in a few of my books learning that they are actually in the mollusk family, have 3-D vision and memory but no real interesting recipes. There were the basic steps of how to tenderize and precook it--so that is what I did until I could figure out something appetizing.
The next morning after it was cleaned, cooked and chopped into segments it hit me...Octopus Pizza! I sliced the meat into thin rounds and sauteed it with shallots, garlic and lots of butter. I made my crust and smeared the buttery octopus mixture over the unbaked crust, topped that with big chunks of buffalo mozzarella and parmesan. After a spell in the over we dined on the most amazing seafood pizza I have ever eaten! Actually the taste was similar to that of scallops.
It was a lot of work, prepping and cooking, but a delicious step out of our normal food box.