Octopus Mac and Cheese

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
30 min
50 min

4 servings

  • Mac and Cheese:
  • 2 quarts heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 ounces Cheddar, grated
  • 8 ounces Jack cheese, grated
  • 4 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • One 1-pound box elbow macaroni
  • 8 ounces mozzarella, grated
  • Octopus:
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 octopus (4 to 5 pounds)
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped cooked bacon, for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Special equipment: a deep-fry thermometer

  • For the mac and cheese: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • In a saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, Cheddar, Jack, onion powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until creamy.

  • Meanwhile, cook the macaroni to al dente in a large pot of salted water. Drain and add to the sauce. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish and top with the mozzarella. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

  • For the octopus: Fill a large Dutch oven about halfway with oil and slowly heat to 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Meanwhile, clean the octopus by running a knife under the outer skin and removing it; you should only see the white. Cut the octopus into small pieces.

  • In a bowl, stir together the cornmeal, chili powder, onion powder and salt and pepper. Roll the octopus pieces in the spiced cornmeal until well coated. Deep-fry until golden and crispy, then drain on paper towels.

  • Divide the mac and cheese among 4 bowls and top with octopus. Sprinkle with bacon and cilantro, and serve.

Contestant/Competition Recipe: This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. The Food Network Kitchen have not tested it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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