Portuguese food

The food of Portugal is rich, & has a depth of intensity just like its people.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Clams in a Cataplana

Selection of Clam at the market

Razor Clams
Clam Stew
This dish was made when I was traveling in Portugal. I was visiting the south which is called the Algarve. My family comes from this region.
My mother has an apartment in a town called Loule. Her apartment is a 5 minute walk to a huge fresh food market.This market sells fresh bread, seafood, fruit & vegetables, as well as meat & poultry. But, it's most famous for it's seafood.
I'd wake up earlier than everyone else & stroll down to the market. On this particular day the clams looked fresh so I decided to make one of the Algarves famous dishes, Ameijoas na Cataplana, which means Clams in a Cataplana.
I was also eager to try razor clams as I'd never tried them before as you can't get them in Australia.
As I was traveling I didn't have my Cataplana so I made it in a normal pan.
I'll write a post soon about what a Cataplana is, but it's not really that necessary to have one as my photos show, just a fantastic way to present this dish.
Make sure you soak your clams in fresh water,how long depends on where you got them from.
Most seafood mongers do this for you, but it's best to ask if you need to soak them.

3 large onions,sliced
6 cloves garlic,chopped
1 large red capsicum,diced in large pieces
4 large tomatoes,chopped
1 bunch coriander,chopped
1 chorizo
1 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
3 tab massa de pimentao (capsicum paste)
2 kg of clams

Saute the onions in olive oil on med to high heat till they start to become soft then add the garlic.
When this mix has a bit of color add the chorizo & stir,then add the capsicum.
Add a bit more oil if the mixture appears a bit dry,then add the stalks of the coriander.Give everything a good stir.Then add the salt, massa de pimentao & cook for 1 min.
Then add the water & allow the mixture to cook for 10 min on a med heat.
Bring the mixture up to the boil & add the clams coating the clams in the mixture.
Immediately cover the clams with a lid & cook for 10 min or till clams are cooked.
When the clams are cooked add the chopped coriander.
Serve with a salad cooked rice or fresh bread.

8 comments:

Jacqueline said...

Great blog ,enjoyed it alot. Loved the food and pictures .Can see how passionate you are of Portugal.

Portuguese kitchen said...

Thanks Jacqueline,yes I do like all things Portugal

emma said...

Oh yum! I've never seen these clams before, now I must find them. Great site, anna, beijos.

Portuguese kitchen said...

Thanks Emma,these were everywhere in the Algarve.In a town called Loule there's a huge market,& it was amazing all the seafood that was there.Well more like the pipis & the sardines.A dream of mine to live so close to a market.

Zoe said...

Great blog, your passion for the Portuguese food and culture shines..Love the receipe's, you make it sound simple!!

Portuguese kitchen said...

Hi Zoe, thanks oh but it is so simple.
Have a try

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Yum! Razor clams are so unusual, especially when you compare them to our regular shaped clams. I've tried them once here in Australia at Japaz and they were really nice!

Portuguese kitchen said...

Hi Lorraine, I'd never tasted razor clams until this trip. I bought them at the local market. I just couldn't resist when I saw them. They were really nice better than I'd expected.