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Portuguese Recipe: Codfish and Stingray Stew (Caldeirada de Bacalhau e Raia)

Cooking 30 min Preparation 48 hours 4 medium
Recipe type: Fish Cuisine: Portuguese

Although the clam-shaped cataplana is most traditionally used to make the famed Seafood Cataplana, one just needs a little imagination to expand its potential! It can also be used for vegetarian stews, chicken, rabbit and seafood rice or arroz de marisco and a variety of different fish dishes like a Caldeirada de Peixe (fish stew). Cooking in the cataplana makes the flavors richer by not allowing the juices to go to waste by evaporating into the air and instead continuously sinking back into the food and creating a luscious liquid in the bottom. Why not give it a try!

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Note: If you do not have a Cataplana, simply use a saucepan with a tight fitting lid.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (1/2 kg)Bacalhau (salted cod), pre-soaked to remove excess salt
  • 1 lb (1/2 kg)stingray fins
  • 4-5 medium potatoes
  • 2 cups ( ½ liter) tomato sauce
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 large onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • A small bunch of fresh cilantro/coriander
  • ½ teaspoon black or white pepper
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Note: When pre-soaking the bacalhau, place the cod into a container of cool water and change the water every 6 hours or so to remove the excess salt. This can be done for 2 days prior to making the recipe in order to remove as much salt as possible before cooking. Do not salt this dish before tasting it at the end.
  2. Cut the bacalhau and ray into 1 ½ – 2 inch chunks and set aside. Peel the potatoes and cut them into ¼ inch slices and set aside. Remove the stem and seeds from the bell pepper before thinly slicing and set aside. Peel the onion and thinly slice into half-moons, and mix all but ¼ of the onion with the pepper. Peel the garlic and thinly slice it.
  3. Heat the olive oil in the cataplana over medium heat. Add in the garlic and ¼ of the onion and sauté for 1-3 minutes or until garlic is golden and onion is translucent. Layer the onion and bell pepper on top, some coriander, then add a layer of potato. Repeat until all the onion/pepper mixture and potato has been used, reserving a bit of the cilantro/coriander for later. Pour in the tomato sauce, wine and season with pepper. Close the cataplana and bring it to a boil.
  4. Once it’s come to a boil, open the cataplana and add the fish to the pan, stir gently and cover again and reduce heat to low and allow it to simmer about 15 – 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Turn off the heat, open the cataplana and add the last of the cilantro/coriander on top.
  5. Serve immediately with Portuguese bread.

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