Since coming back from Portugal this summer Cataplana has probably been my favourite dish to make. It’s so delicious and the kids will eat it!.
In case you don’t know – a Cataplana is a copper ‘clam-like’ cooking vessel hinged on one side that is a traditional cooking vessel in Portugal. You can of course use a ‘Big Pot’ which is exactly what I will continue to do until someone kindly buys me a Cataplana for my birthday or something!
My favourite version of Cataplana (and there are many varieties) goes like this.
Make up an onion and tomato sauce base with two tins of chopped toms and a couple of onions, plus Bay leaf and garlic (cook for 40 mins or so) add green peppers x2 chopped (obviously) with half a chorizo, about a pound of pork tenderloin, cubed, a couple of ounces of chopped proscuitto and a couple of slices of smoked ham along with a slug or two of chilli sauce to taste (you won’t need any salt in this dish) and a load of white wine.
Then it’s up to you. Finish off with 200grammes or so of a fish of your chioice. Smoked Haddock and monkfish are both good, half a dozen king prawns and finally add in the piece de resistance – a bag of mussels or clams, whichever you prefer. I prefer clams but they’re not to everyone’s taste and they’re fairly pricey.
Add some water so that the whole shooting match steams and cooks the clams/mussels and Prawns. Serve immediately with bread to mop up the delicious meaty tomatoey sauce.