“Cataplana? What’s that?” is probably the question in your head now. Let me show you what it is:
A Cataplana is a piece of cook ware used to prepare mainly Portuguese seafood dishes. It is traditionally made of copper and shaped like two clam shells hinged at one end and is sealed using a clamp on either side of the top part. Nowadays, we can also find cataplanas made of stainless steel (like the one I have) which makes it easier to maintain clean. Besides seafood, we can also use it to cook meats which don’t require long cooking times.
And where am I going to find one of these? Unfortunately I have never seen it being sold outside Portugal (where I got mine from) but don’t despair 🙁 either you want to keep it all authentic and search the internet for some online shopping, or you can use one of your everyday pans. The secret would be to keep the heat low and do not open the pan till the end of the cooking time.
I have tried several Cataplanas before and I can’t choose which one I prefer. Maybe because it reminds me of home, I like them all. And you may think that it looks just like a normal stew recipe but I think the cooking pot in this case makes the difference. I know it’s hard to explain if you haven’t tasted the original but maybe one day you will visit Portugal and you can then understand 🙂 or maybe you’ve been already and you know I’m right?
In the end of the day, it’s a simple nice recipe for Cataplana of squid and I hope you enjoy it 🙂
“Cataplana” of squid
- 500 g squid cleaned and cut into rings
- 100 g bacon slices
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 green pepper cut into strips
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can of peeled tomatoes
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Olive oil as needed
- 1 glass of white wine
- Chopped parsley to taste
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 4 potatoes peeled and cut in thick slices
- If you choose to use fresh squids, ask the fishmonger to clean them up for you, and to cut them into rings.
- But you can also use frozen squids, either whole (which you will cut into rings after defrosting) or you can buy them already cut into rings.
- If using frozen squid, thaw them in a colander by passing them under running water several times.
- Season the squid with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Leave to marinate for about 30 min.
- Cut the bacon slices into strips and add it to the the cataplana. Let it fry slightly.
- Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, the onion and garlic and let it fry for a few minutes.
- Add the pepper and sauté. Refresh with the white wine and add the bay leaf and parsley.
- Add the tomatoes and season with sugar, salt and pepper. Leave to cook a little.
- Add the squids and potatoes in alternating layers, sprinkle with salt and close the cataplana.
- Simmer on very low heat for about 30 min without opening the Cataplana.
- When ready, be very careful when opening the cataplana because of the hot steam that will be released
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.