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Monday, March 10, 2014


Well, I don't know about the rest of the world, but good weather has finally arrived here in Portugal, after a very rainy and damp Winter. And so, to celebrate this wonderful sun and the hopes of a good Summer, here's a period recipe I had mentioned in a previous post of food in the 18th century. Since this recipe was already eaten back then and it is still today very much apreciated, it makes sense to have it posted here on this blog.
This recipe is not only one that is enjoyed on a hot Summer's day, but it is also a good translation of the Portuguese maritime tradition, since it is a fish recipe.
The word “Cladeirada” comes from “Caldeirão” (cauldron), meaning that some produce would be cooked together in this type of pot. It resembles a stew, but with more water. Terracotta pots are also used.
So, here is how it goes, and please excuse me for any bad translations of the fish names. Use at least use 3 out of the list below; they are sturdy fishes. I like my Caldeirada with cod and squid, but you can add your own personal favorites; it's not set into stone.
  • Ray
  • European conger
  • Conger eel
  • Eel
  • Dogfish
  • Corvina drum
  • Lagerhead hairtail/Beltfish
  • Monk fish
  • White group
  • Tub gurnard
  • Squid
  • Cod (the preserved in salt kind, that you have to de-salt in water for 2 days)
  • Clams
You can also use hake if you're not able to find the other types of fish or even if you don't like them.
PLEASE don't add, as some silly recipes say, salmon, trout or tuna! Those where fishes rarely eaten by the larger part of the nation's population, more so found on the nobleman’s table.
You'll need:
  • 3 sliced onions
  • 0,5Kg of peeled and thickly sliced potatoes
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 3 cleaned and cut green peppers
  • 1 cup of white wine (optional)
  • Garlic (as much as you like)
  • Parsley or coriander
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 clove or chilli (optional)
  • Olive oil
In layers, at the bottom of the pot you add 1st the onions, then the potatoes, then the tomatoes and last the peppers. Add the more sturdy fish, salt and pepper, parsley, bay leaves, garlic. Keep adding layers until the softer fish is at the top. Add the olive oil, water, wine and the clove. Let it cook with a closed lid until the fish is done and leave it to rest, always closed, for at least 5 minutes. Cooking it in the oven is optional too.
You eat it with family and friends and the sauce tastes really nice with soacking bread in it.


Here's a video that shows you all the stages.

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