In Faro, we found Carlos, an air traffic controller who, every Friday, invites his friends for dinner at his house. He likes to cook and play with flavours and, at one of his get-togethers, he accepted our challenge to get to know Assobio white better and pair it with a meal. With the ocean so close, the choice was easy – Algarve’s cataplana gave the motto to a night amongst friends with flavours that travelled from Algarve to Douro.
- 3 large white onions
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 red pepper
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- Monkfish, preferably loin, 1 kg or more, depending on how many people are eating
- Prawns (4 people = 1/2 kg)
- A large bunch of coriander
- Salt and black pepper (freshly ground), to taste
- Olive oil (around half a wine glass)
- 1/2 glass of white wine (I used Assobio)
- Optional – chili pepper, to taste
Line the bottom of the cataplana pan with the onion slices, some of the pepper strips, the bay leaf, part of the crushed garlic, some of the monkfish fillets, sprinkle with some of the chopped coriander, drizzle with a little olive oil and a small pinch of rock salt.
Repeat this stage until you have used all the ingredients, adding the olive oil and half a glass of white wine, reserving only the peeled prawns and half the chopped coriander. Cook over a medium heat until the onion is done (around 40 minutes), remove from the heat and check that everything is cooked (return to the heat if it is not), check the seasoning. When it is done, place the prawns on top and the rest of the coriander.
Close the cataplana and return it to the heat for another 5 minutes (it’s important that it doesn’t spend long on the heat otherwise the prawns will be overcooked and lose their flavour).
Serve with the white wine used in the recipe, in this case, a well-chilled Assobio white.