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Seafood Cataplana

The Atlantic Ocean which surrounds the Algarve is the breeding ground for a huge variety of fresh fish. One of the most popular Algarvian dishes is "Cataplana". The name Cataplana is given to the traditional copper pan with a lid in which the food is cooked, but is also used to refer to the recipe itself. There are many varieties of cataplana (many based on meat), but the recipe below is for the seafood variety.


Seafood Cataplana 100 gr peeled shrimps
100 gr frozen crab legs
250 gr fresh/frozen prawns
150 gr fresh clams
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
Olive oil
1 glass white wine
Chilli (optional)
2 bay leaves
Sliced onion
Crushed garlic
Salt and pepper

Start by chopping the onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers and fry in olive oil in the Cataplana for around 7 minutes (the lid of the Cataplana should be closed). Add the bay leaves and the white wine and cook for a further 10 minutes. Next add the paprika, shrimp, crabs legs and clams and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the prawns, coriander, chillii and season with salt and pepper, boil for approximately 5 more minutes. Leave for 10 minutes and serve with with rice, bread or potatos and a Portuguese green wine.