Pulpo Tostadas
Chef Rene Ortiz formerly of La Esquina New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs.com
April 2008

Yield: 12 Servings


    Pulpo Tostadas by Chef Rene Ortiz of La Esquina – New York, NY on StarChefs.comOctopus:
  • 2 pounds octopus
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Chopped garlic, to taste

    Saffron Aji:
  • 3 green jalapeños, stems removed
  • 5 shallots, peeled
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 750 grams white wine vinegar
  • 2 quarts mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • Salt and pepper

    Salsa Veracruzana:
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1½ tomatillos, husks removed
  • ¼ onion
  • ½ cup thinly sliced garlic
  • ½ cup diced Spanish onion
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 4½ Serrano chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced olives
  • ¼ cup capers
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper

    To Assemble and Serve:
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Salt
  • Baby arugula (optional)


For the Octopus:
Thoroughly rinse octopus in cold water. Put octopus, water, wine, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook until octopus is tender; allow to cool in cooking liquid. Cut octopus into 1-inch pieces and put on bamboo skewers. Marinate octopus skewers in olive oil and garlic.

For the Saffron Aji:
Put jalapeños, shallots, garlic, saffron, bay leaf, and vinegar in a sauce pot over medium heat. Reduce to a thick syrup consistency. Let cool and remove bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to combine reduction and mayonnaise until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Salsa Veracruzana:
Heat a grill. Grill large tomatoes, tomatillos, and quarter onion until lightly charred. Put in a blender and puree until smooth. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sweat garlic, Spanish onion, shallots, chilies, olives, capers, and cilantro for about 15 minutes, until soft. Add peeled and chopped tomatoes and sauté for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add tomato puree, olive oil, and lime juice. Season with salt, pepper, and additional lime juice to taste.

To Assemble and Serve:
Cut tortillas with a 3-inch diameter cutter and deep fry until crisp. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Grill octopus skewers until hot and charred. Spread saffron aji onto the chips then add arugula, if you’re using it. Remove octopus from skewers, place on arugula bed, and top with salsa Veracruzana.

Drink pairing: A shot of old world Mezcal or Jose Cuervo’s PLATINO Tequila

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