I read the main octopus threads on this site and tried cooking one for the first time this last week. It was a rubbery failure, but I'm going to keep at this some more.
A first point to make is that I'm not sure I've ever encountered an ingredient with more variety and mystery in the lore about how to make it tasty.
I followed a recipe from one of the threads, from a restaurant that poaches the octopus 20 minutes in red wine vinegar and then marinates it for three days in a vinaigrette before a quick (few minutes) grilling. The fellow in the video for that recipe said that his octopi came from Spain and were "prepped" there, but I also read threads that tell of freezing itself as a sufficient tenderizing element for octopus. Given that mine was from frozen, I didn't do any of the pounding, bashing, smashing, etc., recommended by many cooks.
So now I'm posing two questions:
1. Any ideas about how to go with the next one? I'm thinking some smashing with a mallet.
2. What the heck are the little round things, sized rather like Israeli cous-cous, on my plate? I'll attach some pictures.