A cataplana is a Portuguese seafood dish. It is traditionally made of copper and shaped like two clamshells. A good substitute for a cataplana is a deep frying pan or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. This helps to capture the aromas of the seafood.
Serves 4 – 6
Capsicum Paste –
12 red capsicums
2 cups olive oil
8 garlic cloves
Base Stock –
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onion
2 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
400ml dry white wine mixed with ½ teaspoon saffron strands
200ml fish stock
2 star anise
Cataplana Of Seafood –
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium potatoes peeled, chopped and cooked
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Capsicum Paste
4 fish fillets – jew, cobia, mackerel or snapper
8 small squid
4 green Moreton Bay bugs, halved lengthways
8 green king prawns, shelled and deveined
8 live black mussels, cleaned
4 tablespoons continental parsley torn
4 cups Base Stock
For Capsicum Paste –
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a shallow baking tray.
- Roast whole capsicums in oven for 30 minutes or until skin blisters.
- Remove from oven and store in tightly closed plastic bag or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for 10 minutes to cool.
- When cool to touch, peel the skin of the capsicums off and remove the seeds. Do not rinse or flavour will be lost.
- Slice into smaller chunks and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until capsicums form a puree. Add olive oil with motor still running and season with salt.
For Base Stock –
- Heat oil, onion, garlic and bay leaf in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add capsicum paste and anchovies and sauté until combined.
- Add tomatoes and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Add wine, star anise and fish stock and cook a further 20 minutes.
For Cataplana Of Seafood –
- Place Cataplana on burner (use a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid as a substitute).
- Add olive oil, onions, garlic, capsicum paste and potatoes and sauté quickly.
- Add fish, mussels, bugs and a ladle of base stock. Cover cataplana with lid and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add rest of seafood, cover with remaining stock and parsley and seal cataplana. Cook for a further 4 minutes.
- For best results, open cataplana at table to preserve the aromas.
Source: Jérémi Flor