Chef Jeremy Blutstein wears a lot of hats: father, husband, co-founder of fermented foods company Kimchi Jews, James Beard Award semi-finalist, chef. His enormous gifts in the kitchen have catapulted him into executive chef positions from Manhattan to Montauk, while his unrivalled reverence for locally grown, high quality produce and products has won him more than a few farmer friends on Long Island’s East End.
“Watching [Blutstein] work is like watching a beautiful dance,” wrote writer Kelly Ann Smith, in a 2017 profile. “It’s not the way he moves, it’s the way he moves his partner — the food. Quickly, simply, with utter respect.”
And this, for us, is where Blutstein earns yet another hat: steward. In an industry dominated by chefs whose methods tend to skew indulgent, Blutstein stands out as someone who prioritizes the needs of his ingredients above all else. This is a difference you can taste—and it’s a difference that makes Blutstein legendary.
So it was a no-brainer, then, that when we were looking for a creative take on the traditional Easter dinner of lamb or ham and spring vegetables, we turned to Blutstein—and no surprise that we were exhilarated by what he put together for us:Octopus and Bayonne Ham Chorizo.
Here, in an Edible exclusive, is his recipe.
● 800 grams Tenderized Spanish Octopus
● 200 grams Bayonne Ham
● 7 grams pimentón de la Vera – spicy
● 14 grams pimentón de la Vera – sweet
● 2 cloves garlic
● 1 dash white wine (optional)
● 2.5 m pork casings
Put meat grinder head and blades in the freezer the night before. Cube the Bayonne Ham and put in the freezer the night before as well.
Grind the octopus, Bayonne Ham, and garlic together in unison. Season with both paprikas and white wine. No salt as the ham takes care of that for you. Paddle the mixture together to help incorporate the seasoning and to emulsify the mixture.
Stuff the casings with the mixture and hang for 24 hrs.
Set the smoker at 225 degrees Fahrenheit and hang the sausage in the middle of the smoker for 1.5-2 hours or until the internal temperature hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
🇫🇷 🇫🇷 How to Make a French-Inspired Charcuterie Board 🇫🇷 🇫🇷
Use a Wood Cutting Board
If you want to keep it authentically French, a wood board is the best way to go. They’re easier to use, easier to wash, and you don’t have to worry about scratching them with a knife.
Serve at Least Four Different Kinds of Cheeses
In general, you should always try to include a tangy option ( for example, goat cheese), something soft and creamy (Brie or Camembert), something hard (Comté or Cheddar), and something strong (blue cheese)
Get Your Hands on some French Bayonne Ham
If you want your board to be as authentically French as possible, we recommend French Bayonne Ham. Bayonne Ham is produced the same way it was a thousand years ago in the heart of a strictly defined area: the Adour basin in Southern France. You can find it at Central Market. The other meats that you include are totally up to your preference, but a range is suggested.
Slice the Right Way
Meat should always be presliced before serving, and the thinner it is, the better. Make sure that each piece of sausage is no more than 2 millimeters wide or it will be too thick to eat.
Don’t Forget the Extras
Using as many seasonal and local products on your board as you can. It’s spring, so fill any empty spaces with spring veggies like radishes, and if it’s summer, add in some tomatoes. Pickled and preserved ingredients such as olives, cornichons, and even tapenade balance out the creaminess of cheese with their acidity. A few sweets, like honey or cherry preserves, are essential.
Serve With Bread, Not Crackers
Give Each Person Their Own Knife