I earlier posted a review of Restaurant Social in Costa Mesa, CA, and I have mentioned that a good trip is one where you come home with good inspiration (for food or products incidentally). Well, this dish ‘Spanish Octopus’ we had at Social, was truly inspirational. It was so full of flavor and absolutely delicious, I knew the moment I tasted it that I had to make it at home.
SOCIAL’s Spanish Octopus
I can hardly call this copying Social’s recipe or even replicating, as I made so many substitutions and personal additions and derivatives, that it only merely resembles the original. For starters, I used scallops instead of octopus, and brussel sprouts instead of frisee, and added mushrooms.
Kathy’s version of SOCIAL’s Spanish Octopus, ‘Scallop Romesco’
To make the romesco ‘swipe’ on the bottom of the dish I put in a food processor: roasted almonds, toasted bread, roasted red bell pepper, roasted tomato, re-hydrated guajillo chile- toasted, hot spanish paprika, garlic, sherry wine vinegar, olive oil, salt to taste, touch of chile soaking liquid. Then pulsed to puree.
In a pan I sautéed onion, garlic, diced chorizo (Pamplona brand), sliced oyster mushroom. I then seasoned and added small bay scallops until cooked through. Just before removing from the heat (so only briefly sautéed), I add sliced rings of baby red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, along with jalapeño rings and julienned spinach. Once my saute was complete, I tossed with a dressing of sherry wine vinegar, mustard, and olive oil. Then I added halved / roasted fingerling potatoes which were baking in the oven (400F / 20 min). And topped with brussel sprout shred.
The SOCIAL version tops with chicharrones and gremolata.
So how was it, you ask? What do they say… the bomb! It was amazing. FULL of flavor, spice, crunch, and texture. It was great. I would definitely make again… maybe even add the chicharrones and gremolata on top for crunch and balance. I would use shrimp the next time instead of scallops. While the scallops were delicious, tender, and succulent on their own… they were completely lost in the sea of strong spicy flavors of the chorizo, romesco, and sherry wine vinaigrette.