Shopping Cart: Cataplana 

Classic Portuguese shellfish steamer

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When I lived in Spain, I remember enjoying seafood dishes in restaurants served in a cataplana. It wasn't until later that I discovered cataplanas are a type of cookware most popular in Portugal, where they originated.

More recently, I ate at The Brass Tag restaurant in Deer Valley and I thought it was cool that they serve their steamed seafood dishes in personal-size cataplanas.

A cataplana is traditionally made of copper and it's probably no coincidence that it's clam-shaped, since cataplanas are perfect for steaming clams, mussels and other shellfish. The vessel serves both as cookware and as tableware, since it can go from the stove or oven straight to the table and provides an interesting and attractive looking serving pan.

My wife remembered that I was eagerly eyeballing the cataplanas at The Brass Tag and she generously gave me a large one as a gift this Christmas. They aren't cheap, primarily because they're typically made of copper, but they make a beautiful addition to any kitchen collection.

Sur la Table sells cataplanas in two sizes: 8 1/4" and 12" priced at $60 and $100, respectively. They're made in Portugal from hand-hammered copper and can be used either in the oven or on the stovetop.

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