Rooftop Barbecue

boqueria interior

boqueria interior

August 16th 2013

Having been suitably restored at La Palmera, Matthew and I met Oli and Salva in the Boqueria to shop for this evening’s supper on the roof terrace. After walking round and round the circular fish section, quite a few times, we settled on lots of fish and some galtas.

preparation for chopping

preparation for chopping

Oli was cooking galtas (veal cheeks) in a curry sauce with a mint and pea mousse and Salva was making a tortilla de bacalao. Matthew was in charge of salad. I left the other chefs downstairs and went to prepare the fish on the roof, which has a large sink. The sun was going down and there was a light breeze – I was delighted to have escaped the hot kitchen.

rapé

rapé

I cleaned and salted a mountain of rapé (monkfish) tails, which we’d found very cheap. Salting white fish for about 10 minutes or so removes some of the water content and firms up the flesh. Rinse the salt off or the fish will taste too salty. Above, the fish have been rinsed, sprinkled with chopped garlic and parsley and are marinating in lemon juice and olive oil.

berenjena

berenjena

While the monkfish was salting, I sliced three aubergines.

sliced aubergine

sliced aubergine

These were salted and layered in a colander – the salting is probably unnecessary with modern aubergine varieties. It used to be necessary to remove bitterness, but it does help to remove a bit of water from the flesh. I rinsed them in water after 15 minutes and sprinkled them with lemon juice to stop them going brown before cooking.

galtas

galtas

Downstairs in the oven kitchen, Oli was preparing the cheeks with bay leaves, cardamon pods, coriander, cumin and star anise.

chillis

chillis

Salva had infused some olive oil with chilli and was gently caramelising onions for the tortilla.

sardinas

sardinas

Back upstairs, I cleaned over a kilo of sardines and was reminded of my first week living in Barcelona, back in 1991.

Sardinas91

I still have the Polaroid (above) of Jorge cleaning a big pile of sardines on Susan Ferguson’s roof, just two streets away, on a dull day in June, 22 years ago.

wheelbarrow barbecue

wheelbarrow barbecue

It seemed to get dark quickly and suddenly the were 14 of us for dinner. I tried barbecuing monkfish on terracotta roof tiles, which were conveniently left from recent roof repairs, but they proved a bit slow, so they were abandoned in favour of the regular rooftop DIY barbecue wheelbarrow.

bacalao y cebolla

bacalao y cebolla

In the meantime, Salva had caramelised his onions for 2 hours before briefly cooking them with the bacalao. The bacalao and onions went into a dozen beaten eggs, cooked and flipped in very hot olive oil to produce a tortilla de bacalao.

tortilla de bacalao

tortilla de bacalao

This tortilla is quite loose, it doesn’t stick firmly together like a tortilla de patatas, but the above picture was just after flipping and it was reformed into a nice square before serving. The size above is deceptive – there are two large onions, 12 eggs and a quarter of a kilo of bacalao in the tortilla. If attempting this at home, don’t add salt, there’s more than enough in the bacalao.

sardinas on the griddle

sardinas on the griddle

Meanwhile, back on the roof, the monkfish was cooking nicely on the barbecue, albeit a bit slowly. Fortunately, in the cupboard on the roof, next to the bar fridge, I found a hot plate, so the sardinas were cooked on a griddle pan, with a liberal helping of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and parsley.

muergos

muergos

Hot on the tail of the sardines, were about 30 razor clams. I cooked these in the same pan as the sardines and they benefitted from the juices left behind. Cook razor clams very hot and very quickly – 3 or 4 minutes should suffice or they will become quite rubbery.

veneras

veneras

Evidently we’d gotten ahead of ourselves in the Boqueria – even with 14 hungry mouths to feed, the scallops, above, got away and had to go back into the fridge.

moon over barcelona

moon over barcelona

More on the other things that got away and the contents of the fridge tomorrow…

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About Mad Dog

https://maddogtvdinners.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Barcelona, Fish, Food, Meat, Shopping, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Rooftop Barbecue

  1. Pingback: La Palmera | Mad Dog TV Dinners

  2. cecilia says:

    A FEAST! and most of all i am delighted to see the wheelbarrow grill… I am going to be doing that out here very soon, i have a fantastic ancient heavy-as wheelbarrow (with no holes but missing a leg) that would do the trick with a little extra propping ! Loved your rooftop kitchen.. your life is so social.i am glad to be living it vicariously from the quiet little farmy.. Are you going to see tanya while you are out her way!?.. c

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Cecilia. The wheelbarrow barbecue does have a few holes in it from constant use – I put a few roof tiles in there and covered them in aluminium foil (which is good anyway, because it reflects the heat) to make it serviceable. I’m sure your heavy duty one will last longer.
      Tanya lives way down south in Andalusia, but I think she’s in London or Bexhill at present. We crossed in the post 😉

  3. Tessa says:

    Great barbecue! Love those razor clams!

  4. Eha says:

    Well, I should not exactly copy Celi and shout ‘FEAST’ but my mind fails to conjure another suitable term for that delicious plethora of wonderful fresh dishes, especially since I am somewhat short of seafood in my neck of the woods! Had a walk around those terrific markets again and definitely decided to cook my next lot of beef cheeks leaning heavily towards my beloved Asian cooking 🙂 !

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Eha – shame about the lack of seafood where you are. There’s no shortage of it in London, but there’s definitely better appreciation of it in Barcelona 😉

  5. Ruth says:

    From reading the title- to seeing your wonderful photos, I loved the invitation to join you at such a fine meal. Thanks for sharing your evening and ending with the moon in Barcelona. Nice, MD!

  6. abrooke65 says:

    Wow! Quite an adventurous feast! Impressive, razor clams and monk fish on a rooftop at night. Such a Spaniard. So jealous.

  7. Wonderful, what a fantastic BBQ, inspiring stuff mate, love the BBQ.
    Razor clams are a special favourite of mine too.
    Cheers
    Marcus

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    When you guys have a feast, MD, you don’t fool around! Had I been there, you would have had to drag me from the table. That is one night I would have hated to see end. 🙂

  9. How nice MD! I can see it was a wonderful night under the Barcelona sky… You do know how to throw a party! 😉

  10. Conor Bofin says:

    Very jealous of your adventure MD. That would have been a real treat for me.

  11. Wonderful food! Monkfish tails?

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Rosemary. Fishmongers sell the large fleshy part of a monkfish at a premium and cut off the head and end, tail part. They generally sell the tails cheaply – there’s a reasonable amount of flesh on them 😉

  12. Yet again, you have shown really know how to barbecue and feed people sublime dishes, what a great selection. Love the seafood, that’s a given, the bacalao in the tortilla is a great idea. Thanks for more barbecue envy 🙂

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thank you – I really appreciate the kind words. Bacalao tortilla is a Basque dish, but I’m sure that any good white fish would be good 😉

  13. Pingback: Big Breakfast | Mad Dog TV Dinners

  14. Asolutely fantastic – what a wonderful meal. But you are clearly mixing with the posh folk with all that sardine cleaning…we peasants down south just wash them and cook them with their guts intact!

  15. Karen says:

    All that fresh seafood made for a delicious BBQ. I’m sure you didn’t let those gorgeous scallops go uneaten the next day.

  16. Pingback: La Palmera | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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