Recipe: A Simple Cataplana

This is a recipe for a simple cataplana that I cooked recently. It’s a traditional Portuguese dish and, while commonly made with clams, I like to use it as a “catch of the day” recipe since it works well with just about any shellfish I’ve used. Traditionally, it is made in a copper clam-shell pot called a cataplana – where the dish inherited it’s name – but if you don’t own one then you could substitute a pot with a weighted non-vented lid.

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers (1 green, 1 red), julienned
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 1 squash, julienned
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 chouriço sausage, sliced
  • 2 cups of clam juice
  • 1 cup of Port wine
  • 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2-3 pounds of your choice: short-neck clams, shrimp, prawns

Instructions

  • Oil or grease the inside of the cataplana. If you don’t have a cataplana then you can substitute a pot with a non-vented lid.
  • Place the shellfish, vegetables, and sausage into the pot.
  • Add the clam juice and port then close the lid to the pot.
  • Cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, add the lemon juice and close the pot to continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve. If you are cooking clams, be sure they have opened up before serving.

I’m always trying adaptations on recipes and would love to hear in the comments any of your own variations!

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