Quail Barbecue

chopping

chopping

October 6th. 2013

The weather forecast said there might be showers, but we woke up to sunshine and a few white clouds – the temperature was about 24º C.

rooftop kitchen

rooftop kitchen

I headed for the outdoor kitchen – there’s a large sink (much bigger than indoors), a little electric burner and a handy bar fridge in the rooftop cupboard.

merluza y salmonetes

merluza y salmonetes

The first thing to be done was cleaning the fish. We’d bought baby merluza (hake) and salmonetes (striped red mullet) in the Boqueria yesterday. The merluza (right) came cleaned, so I just had to rinse them in cold water, but the salmonetes needed a full clean and scale. They have quite thick scales and it’s time consuming to remove them, however, these little mullet taste great, so it’s worth the effort.

fish marinade

fish marinade

I mixed lots of chopped garlic, coriander (cilantro), lemon juice, seasoning and olive oil to make a marinade,

fish in marinade

fish in marinade

which was poured on top of the fish.

vegetable kebabs

vegetable kebabs

Next came vegetable kebabs, with courgette, lemon, mushrooms, onions, red pepper and tomatoes.

chicken heart kebabs

chicken heart kebabs

There was also a meat kebab, with large chicken hearts and vegetables.

fiesta

fiesta

Everything was ready when people started to arrive at 2pm.

chitón

chitón

Jonas brought the wine that makes us all laugh – it must be something in the name. To be fair, Chitón is a very good Rioja.

cava sangria

cava sangria

Oli made a delicious sangria with cava, lemonade, mint, oranges, nectarines, Spanish Sherry Brandy, and a little brown sugar.

mushroom salad

mushroom salad

He also made a mushroom salad with mint, sautéed mushrooms (Camagroc), spinach and wild strawberries plus a Roquefort, lemon and olive oil dressing.

pressed octopus

pressed octopus

We server the Octopus Carpaccio with the salad – it came out of the bottle, pressed in a nice solid form.

sliced pulpo

sliced pulpo

We sliced it with a very sharp cleaver rather than a knife. It was cut more thickly than I would have liked.

chopped pussy

pussy with lemon, olive oil and pimentón,

I think next time I’ll wrap it in a cloth to get a better grip on it and use a thin, sharp fish filleting knife to cut it, like slicing Jamón Serrano. The Octopus Carpaccio was sprinkled with lemon juice, olive oil and hot Pimentón de la Vera. It tasted amazing.

quails in marinade

quails in marinade

The marinated quail came out of the fridge to warm up and I lit the barbecue wheelbarrow.

quail barbecue

quail barbecue

When the coals turned an good white colour, the quail got a roasting.

quail and chicken heart kebabs

quail and chicken heart kebabs

The chicken heart kebabs went on when I turned the quail over. Quail take about 30 minutes on a hot barbecue, you can tell they are done if you can pull a leg off easily. They don’t need to be cooked to death like chicken. In contrast, the chicken hearts needed about an hour of cooking before they were done. Surprisingly they were as popular as the quail and went like hot cakes.

kebabs on the griddle

kebabs on the griddle

The vegetable kebabs were cooked in a griddle pan on a hot plate.

cooked kebabs

cooked kebabs

It kept them meat free and there probably wasn’t enough room on the barbecue wheelbarrow anyway.

claes and araceli

claes and araceli

Claes and Araceli commented favourably on the lemon slices in the kebabs – these were originally inspired by Natalia at Hot, Cheap and Easy.

merluza

merluza

The fish took about 10 minutes to cook.

merluza cooked

merluza cooked

With fish this small

salmonetes

salmonetes

they are ready when they look slightly browned on each side.

salmonetes cooked

salmonetes cooked

If in doubt open one up and check that the flesh is firm. The baby merluza were lovely delicate little hake and the salmonetes were deliciously creamy, so worth all the scaling.

prickly pears

prickly pears

We had Higos Chumbos (prickly pears) for pudding.

peeled prickly pear

peeled prickly pear

They grow with large spikes which are removed before selling. However, they also contain almost invisible, hair like barbs which easily penetrate your flesh. Wear gloves or hold them in a cloth while peeling off the skin. Once peeled the inside tastes a bit like melon and bubble gum. More on these in a later post…

barbecue sunset

barbecue sunset

We sat and watched the sunset and when it was thoroughly dark, by about 10pm, we went inside and found a couple more bottles of rosado in the fridge downstairs…

We got very lucky with the weather. At one point, Debbie pointed at a large black cloud heading our way and suggested we head downstairs. We stood our ground and it just blew over. All the food disappeared without a trace!

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About Mad Dog

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

21 Responses to Quail Barbecue

  1. I finally have a chance to catch up with your adventures a bit and I see my own name mentioned! Me trajiste con el pensamiento. Anyhoo, what a lovely party! The pulpo especially caught my fancy. So glad you had perfect weather for the fun!

  2. Brilliant post, MD. So many delicious ideas and details. The octopus in a bottle is such a good idea…I was impressed when I first saw Chica’s video a while ago. How good to have that warmth still. I shall bookmark this post to review over the winter, ready for next summer. Brava.

  3. What a perfect barbecue. Everything looks delicious.

  4. Wow – what a great barbecue you had there. Loved the baby merluza and I am sitting here with pursed lips (me, jealous?!) at how well your pussy turned out 🙂

  5. Que velada tan simpática! La comida estupenda, como siempre. 😉

  6. Amanda says:

    What an incredible barbecue. I love how everything is just so fresh and only lightly seasoned. You let each ingredient speak for itself. The fish and quail just look so appetizing over the flame. You know how to entertain. Sabroso!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Amanda. I think the thing here is that all elements are quite flavourful in themselves, so while I love a good sauce, why not allow the natural flavours to come through on the barbecue 😉

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    I’ve said it before, MD. You really know how to throw a party! I can’t tell you how often dinner on Fridays was grilled merluzzo when I was a boy. I thought tat octopus carpaccio was an amazing dish when I saw it on Tanya’s blog. It’s every bit as impressive here.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks John. I love hake – I can’t understand why the English don’t appreciate it, but it does mean there’s more for everyone else. I’m very glad Tanya posted the Octopus – it was delicious 😉

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