2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and prosciutto and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, reserving the oil in the skillet.
Add the onion, bell peppers, shallot, garlic, and bay leaf to the skillet and sauté over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until tender. Stir in the paprika, salt, black pepper, and dried red pepper flakes and stir 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1/4 cup of their liquid and the wine. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about half. Stir in the chorizo and prosciutto.
To assemble the cataplana, spoon half of the vegetable mixture into a 10-inch cataplana pan or Dutch oven. Scatter the clams and mussels over and top with the remaining vegetables. Close the cataplana cover, or cover the Dutch oven with its lid. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. Open the lid and gently stir the mussels and clams to distribute the sauce. Re-close the lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer, until all the shells have opened (discard any clams or mussels that do not open). Discard the bay leaf. Sprinkle with the parsley and cilantro.
Serve the cataplana from the pan set in the center of the table, ladling the shellfish and sauce into heated shallow bowls. If you prepared the dish in a Dutch oven, provide empty bowls on the table for discarded shells.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Menu Ideas: Serve this centerpiece entrée with a simple crisp salad such as Bibb Lettuce and Grapefruit Salad (page 52) or Frisée Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts (page 50). You’ll also want good crunchy bread on hand for mopping up the wonderful sauce. When it’s in season, I’ll serve fresh corn on the cob with the cataplana instead of a salad. The cataplana can also be served as a first course.
Do-Ahead Tips: The vegetable base can be made up to 2 days in advanced, covered, and refrigerated. Assemble and bake the cataplana just before serving.
"I first encountered cataplana on a buying trip to Portugal in 1996. A cataplana pan is traditionally made of pounded copper, with two rounded halves hinged together like a clam shell. At the table, the top half flips open, revealing the contents while doubling as a receptacle for discarded shells. The pans come in several sizes. A 10-inch pan is ideal for this recipe, though you can also simply cook the cataplana in a large pot, such as a Dutch oven.
If you’re buying the prosciutto custom-cut at the counter, ask for end pieces that you can trim and dice. Otherwise, ask for the prosciutto to be sliced about 1/4 inch thick, thicker than it is typically cut.
Reprinted with permission from ©Renée Behnke, Memorable Recipes to Share with Family and Friends, by Renée Behnke with Cynthia Nims, published by Andrews McMeel click for book review