Yeotown LifeCooking


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Cataplana is the name of the copper oyster shell pan traditionally used to cook Portuguese seafood dishes, but the pan is by no means essential!  You can make your Cataplana in a wok or Le Crueset-style dish, just be sure it has a tight fitting lid to allow the contents to steam inside. This is one of those sociable dishes, like a paella or tagine that is just perfect for sharing around the table.


Olive Oil

2 x red onions, chunky slices

3 x garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 x peppers, deseeded, quartered and sliced

3 x strips Orange zest

1 x medium Red Chilli, finely chopped

1 x tin Tomatoes

1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

2 tsp Paprika

Salt & Pepper

150g per person of Mixed White Fish, cut into chunky pieces (Julia uses Monkfish, Haddock & Seabass)


Fresh Coriander

3 tsp Capers

1 x Lemon, sliced in to six segments

½ Orange juice

½ Lemon juice

Fresh Bay Leaves


Heat the pan with a splash of olive oil

Fry the garlic for a couple of minutes then add the garlic and peppers.

Add orange zest and chilli and fry until starting to soften. Add tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, a cup of water, the paprika and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, steam the mussels for 2 minutes in a small amount of liquid in a pad with a lid. Once opened remove the mussels from the heat, saving the juices to add to the dish.

Lay the fish on top of the dish, add the orange and lemon juice, bay leaves, capers and mussel juice then transfer the dish to the oven for 10 minutes. Add the mussels, replace the lid and allow to cook on the hob for a further minute.

Scatter with coriander and serve with lemon wedges.

Julia Waghorn

About Julia Waghorn

At 6 years old Julia won a school prize and asked for a recipe book and by 10 years old she wanted to be a cook; so Julia’s interest in food goes back a very long way. In a time when British food had an appalling reputation, cooking for a living was only done by people who couldn’t do anything else, Julia went to catering college to study hotel management but as soon as she could, she got back into the kitchen. Julia went to Ullapool on the west coast of Scotland for a holiday job and stayed 9 years working in various hotels, enjoying the great outdoors and cooking with the superb fresh produce available. She went on to spent some time in London where she owned a Deli and wholesale organic bakery. The business evolved into function catering and working as a private chef including 2 years cooking for a vegan. Julia has always been interested in accommodating special diets in a way that allows everyone at the table to eat the same food. Julia then came to Devon in 2002 to run a B&B but got found out and ended up doing cooking for various enterprises and events and joined the team at Yeotown in 2010. She now lives on the coast at Lee with her husband Peter and lunatic Jack Russell, Millie, and apart from the inevitable cooking her interests are gardening, reading, upholstery and putting her crumbling Georgian house back together.

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