Since moving to Portugal one of my favorite meals, when we eat out, is a fish stew (Caldeirada) but the type which is cooked and served in a copper dish called a Cataplana. As you can see from my photograph the dish has two hinged clam-like shells which are clamped tightly together during cooking. Researching the origin of the dish Wikipedia states the Cataplana was invented by Armando Luz (1927-2002), however other sources such as www.lecreuset.co.uk and www.recipes4us.co.uk informs us the Cataplana was first introduced to the Algarve by the Moors in the 8th Century, during their occupation. Help I’m confused!
Usually, when I see Cataplana de Peixe on the menu it’s for two people so I was delighted to discover the Don Sebastian restaurant in Lagos served single portions! Mr. Piglet is not keen on fish stew and even less so since eating Caldeirada which contained fish lips; the type of fish that looks like its lips have undergone a Botox operation. It made us laugh because the lips were not attached to anything and just yawned at him when he spooned some of the stew onto his plate. Then when he discovered some white hard round things which our friend informed him were the fishes eye balls, Mr. Piglet nearly evaporated on the spot!
Trawling through recipes on Google and YouTube ingredients can include anything from pork and clams to fish and seafood etc.
Recipe and Video for Cataplana in English from http://how2heroes.com