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Friday, July 9, 2010

Cataplana

Cata... Cata...Cataplana??... Cataplana??? Hmmmm... I know what you are thinking... What the heck is this?
Well, it's a "cooking vessel" from Southern Portugal that was originally used to cook up seafood. It is the ideal way to steam shellfish to perfection. Whatever main ingredients you add it is often cooked with veggies and wine.
OK enough facts... it is an awesome fun, freaky, flavorful way to cook food and it is and down right easy as could be to make a fabulous dinner.

Now, to geek out more about the Cataplana, the food is placed in the bottom half of the dish and the hinged lid is then closed to allow all the wonderful (slap you across the face) flavors to develop into a big ass punch of goodness.
You start with onions, peppers and garlic and let them get happy in the 'plana, Then add in the sausages  (get some brown on em!) potatoes and green beans.
After letting it all cook up and getting a bit of some yummy brown bits on the bottom of the Cataplana it's time to add the shellfish and my favorite part.. the wine.  We used a pinot gringo, but any wine that reminds you of sunny days on the Mediterranean would be fine.  We used clams, scallops and some shrimp (which we peeled and deveined) and the added a big pour (close to two cups, or enough to have most of the contents covered) of wine.
Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Open and allow the aroma to sink in. Serve with rice or some kind of pasta (we used orzo). Something needs to soak up that sauce... oh that sauce... I am still dreaming about you!

Time to get saucy... I mean dirty!!!

16 comments:

  1. Beautiful dish with some fantastic flavors. I like the use of orzo, good alternative to rice!

    Cheers!

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  2. Beautiful pictures! I am glad I found your delicious blog. :)

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  3. This sounds awesome. And now I want a cataplana...

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  4. This looks very similar to what we call a 'kadai' or 'karai' in India that is mainly used for deep-frying.

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  5. Flotch- My oh my and what do you deep fry in the "Kadai?" .... now so curious. Thanks for checking out my blog.

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  6. Love it... what an interesting pan, the kind you hang on the wall. I love food like this, I bet is was great! Tell me you had crusty bread...

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  8. Nicole, email me at theartofcuisine@sbcglobal.net... i'll give you the scoop

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  9. Louise... crusty bread was had by all.. of course!!!

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  10. It's like a wok-paella pan. I love this!!! I want one!

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  11. beautiful dish, I mean meal, and love that cooking vessel

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  12. What a beautiful vessel- anything cooked in it has to be wonderful.

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  13. I've never seen this type of pan before. It must make wonderful food. I am new to your blog, so I took some time this morning to read your earlier entries. I'm so glad I did. I really love your take on food and will be back often to see what you've been cooking. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  14. This is the kind of food I really enjoy. I was lucky enough to be able to visit Portugal a few years ago and I loved eating the dishes prepared this way.

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  15. Oh - really like that cooking vessel. Where to find one locally? Very interesting and like the features, shape (like a wok) and the hinges.

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  16. You are right. My first thought was, what the heck is this. It's always great to find out about other countries and how and what they cook.

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