If you love seafood and want to try something different and delicious, you should definitely make cataplana de marisco. This is a typical dish of Portuguese cuisine, originating from the Algarve region in the south of the country. It is prepared in a special copper or aluminum pan, called cataplana, which has two concave parts that close tightly, allowing the food to cook in its own steam and preserve all its aromas and flavors.
The dish consists of a combination of various types of fresh seafood, such as shrimp, clams, cockles, mussels and whelks, which are cooked with onion, garlic, tomato, pepper, bay leaf, cilantro and white wine. The result is a succulent and colorful delicacy that reminds one of the sea and sun of southern Portugal.
Cataplana de marisco is a simple but exquisite recipe that can be served as an appetizer or main course. It is ideal for sharing with family or friends around the table, accompanied by toasted bread or boiled potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce. It is an explosion of flavors and textures that invites you to travel through your senses.
Cataplana de marisco is more than a dish: it is a unique and memorable gastronomic experience. It is a way of celebrating the richness and diversity of Portuguese sea products. It is a tribute to the tradition and creativity of Algarve cooks. It is a symbol of the culture and identity of a people.
In this article, we will show you how to make cataplana de marisco at home with fresh and varied seafood. You will need a cataplana pan or a similar one that can be closed tightly. You will also need some basic ingredients that you can find easily at any supermarket or fish market. Follow these easy steps and enjoy the ultimate Portuguese seafood dish!
- 2.2 lb of mixed seafood (shrimp, clams, cockles, mussels and whelks)
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 fl oz of white wine
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- Rinse the seafood well under cold water and drain. Discard any that are open or damaged. Peel and devein the shrimp if desired, leaving the tails intact. Cut off the whiskers of the shrimp with scissors.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the cataplana pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.
- Add the green and red peppers, the tomato and the bay leaf to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and juicy.
- Arrange the seafood on top of the vegetable mixture in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cilantro. Pour over the white wine.
- Close the cataplana tightly and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the shellfish have opened. Do not open the cataplana during this time.
- Carefully open the cataplana and check for seasoning. Discard any shellfish that have not opened. Transfer to a large platter or serve directly from the pan with toasted bread or boiled potatoes on the side.
- Use fresh and varied seafood, such as shrimp, clams, mussels, cockles and whelks.
- Cut the onion, garlic, tomato and pepper into small pieces and sauté them in olive oil with bay leaf and bacon or chorizo for extra flavor.
- Layer the seafood on top of the vegetable mixture and sprinkle with cilantro, salt, pepper and white wine. You can also add some cream for a richer sauce.
- Close the cataplana tightly and cook over medium heat for about an hour1 or 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and quantity of the seafood. Do not open the cataplana until it is ready to serve.
- Enjoy your cataplana de marisco with toasted bread or boiled potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce.