Caldeirada

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

This Portuguese fish stew, the equivalent of France's bouillabaisse, takes its name from the large saucepan (caldeirão) it's traditionally cooked in. Ingredients vary between regions; some feature a mix of oily and firm white fish, others add shellfish and cephalopods. There's a vegetable base, spicy notes from paprika, cloves, allspice or piri piri and it's served with crusty bread or toast.

  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • ½ cup 3cm-long flat-leaf parsley stalks
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely grated
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 500 ml (2 cups) white wine
  • 1 kg small squid, cleaned, tentacles left whole and bodies scored diagonally, then cut into 5cm pieces
  • 500 gm vongole (clams), soaked in cold water for 20 minutes and drained
  • 450 gm whiting fillets
  • 4 (about 400gm) silver bream, cleaned, heads discarded and cut into cutlets
  • 500 gm piece blue eye trevalla, cut into 5cm chunks
  • ½ cup finely chopped coriander
  • To serve: crusty bread
01   Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and sauté onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add potato, bay leaves, parsley stalks, peppercorns, tomato, tomato paste, paprika, wine and 2 cups of water and simmer for 5 minutes. Add squid and vongole, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Layer fish on top, cover and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes or until fish is tender.
02   Carefully stir mixture, scatter with coriander, then ladle into soup bowls and serve with crusty bread.
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