“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 🙂