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Even an acclaimed Greek chef such as New York’s Michael Psilakis agrees that the best Greek food has always been made at home, by hand. Pick up the secrets of both ancient and modern Greek cooking in this one-off, hands-on session, as Michael deconstructs our favourite Greek dishes with riffs on hanging yoghurt, candying fruit and slow-braising octopus along the way.
Octopus with salami, apple & anchovy vinaigrette:
Separate the legs into two batches, to avoid overcrowding the pan. Season the legs liberally with salt and pepper.
Place a large skillet over the highest heat and let it get smoking hot. Film the pan with a little blended oil and add two of the legs, tentacle-sides down. Sear to a reddish brown, a minute or two, turning.
Transfer to a Dutch oven or roasting pan and sear the remaining legs, returning the pan to super-hot each time.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Add the garlic, bay leaves, and chilli flakes and cover with the lid or aluminum foil. Roast for 1 to 1½ hours, depending on the size of the octopus, until fork-tender (do this the night before, if you like).
White Anchovy Vinaigrette:
In a small food processor, combine the anchovies, shallots, dill, parsley, and mint. Pulse until finely chopped but not pureed.
Transfer to a bowl.:
Add the mustard, oregano, and vinegar. Whisk together and, whisking all the time, drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Since this is a broken vinaigrette, it will separate quickly. Whisk again to bring it together just before serving.
Cut the octopus into rough chunks.
In a bowl, combine the octopus, apple, and salami. There should roughly equal quantities of apple and salami. Drizzle with some of the chunky vinaigrette and toss to coat evenly.
Transfer to a platter or plates and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with a little sea salt and cracked pepper.
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