Dinner This Week: Cataplana

This week’s menus include Cataplana (Portuguese Seafood Stew), Stir-Fried Cumin Beef, and Nut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Orange and Oregano for dinner in about an hour

Published Jan. 4, 2023.

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

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Dinner 1: Cataplana (Portuguese Seafood Stew) with Garlic Bread

Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for both recipes, and make the butter for the garlic bread (step 1). Once the clams have been added to the pot (step 3) start toasting the garlic bread. The two dishes will finish at about the same time.

Cataplana (Portuguese Seafood Stew) hews to tradition by using the classic dish amêijoas na cataplana (clams in a cataplana) as a starting point. From there, we add fennel, red bell pepper, and clam juice to create a dish that would feel right at home in the Algarve. We cook our version in a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid to mimic the steamy cooking environment of a traditional copper cataplana pot. We add the clams and shrimp at the very end of cooking, to preserve their delicate textures and render them plump, juicy, and tender. Our Herbed Garlic Bread starts by toasting a generous amount of whole garlic cloves to mellow any harshness and highlight their rich, sweet, nutty flavor. Then, we add a small amount of cheese and four different herbs for depth and complexity.

Printable Shopping Lists: Cataplana (Portuguese Seafood Stew) and Herbed Garlic Bread

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Dinner 2: Stir-Fried Cumin Beef and Steamed White Rice

Game Plan: Prep and treat the flank steak. While the beef sits, prep the remaining stir-fry ingredients. Steam the rice. Once the rice is fully cooked, let it stand off heat while you cook the stir fry.

Stir-Fried Cumin Beef features tender pieces of meat stir-fried with onions and aromatics, lightly glossed in a soy sauce–based glaze, seasoned with spices, and finished with cilantro. We treat beef flank steak with baking soda, which raises the meat's pH so that it stays moist and tender during cooking. To prevent the meat from overcooking before it browns, we stir-fry it in two batches until its juices are reduced to a sticky fond that coats each slice. Steamed White Rice is soft enough to soak up savory sauces, yet sticky enough to pick up with chopsticks. Rinsing the grains removes some of their surface starch and starting the rice in boiling water provides enough agitation to release the remaining starch, resulting in just the right amount of stickiness.

Printable Shopping Lists: Stir-Fried Cumin Beef and Steamed White Rice

Equipment Review

The Best Woks

After years of preferring nonstick skillets to woks for making stir-fries, we decided to take a fresh look at this traditional pan.
Read Our Review

Dinner 3: Nut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Broccoli Rabe

Game Plan: Start by bringing water to a boil for the broccoli rabe, then prep and start cooking the chicken. As the chicken cooks (step 4), prep, blanch, and drain the broccoli rabe (step 2). As the chicken rests, sauté the broccoli rabe.

To ensure that our Nut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Orange and Oregano are juicy and flavorful, we poke the meat with a fork, salt it, and let it rest before dredging it with a seasoned mixture of half nuts and half panko bread crumbs. To enhance the nutty taste, we cook the coating in browned butter. For Broccoli Rabe that delivers less bitterness and a round, balanced flavor, we start by blanching the rabe in a large amount of salted water to tame its harsh edge. We then sauté the blanched rabe with garlic and red pepper flakes, ingredients that complement its bold taste.

Printable Shopping ListsNut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Broccoli Rabe

To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.


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