Late August Barbecue


On Monday Catie invited me round to cook an end of summer barbecue and of course I said yes!
First on the grill were some delicious sardines. Bridget brought them marinated in half a teaspoon of pimentón, lots of garlic, olive oil and chopped parsley.

atún y caballa

Next up came mackerel fillets, above left with crispy skin, simply prepared with salt and pepper, plus a squirt of lemon juice on each side. On the right are tuna steaks, again from Bridget, marinated with ground cumin seeds, a dried hot chilli, half a clove of garlic, lots of fresh basil, flat leaf parsley, olive oil and lemon juice.


I’d pre prepared fresh allioli to go with the fish and noticed that a lot of it disappeared on chunks of bread.

tempura de calabacín

Catie picked some baby courgettes from the garden, complete with flowers. Bridget whipped up a simple tempura batter of plain flour, iced sparkling water, salt and pepper. The flowers were dipped into the batter and fried in sunflower oil until crisp and golden. Tempura (from the Latin tempora, for time period) came originally from Iberia, the name refers to Lenten and other fasting days, where fish and vegetables were eaten instead of meat. Portuguese missionaries took the tempura cooking technique of dipping fish and vegetables in batter (before frying them in lard) to Japan in the 16th Century.


The courgettes themselves, were fried in olive oil on the barbecue.

gambas al ajillo

I cooked gambas al ajillo (prawns with garlic), again on the grill. This is a classic Spanish tapa which can be made in 10 minutes or so. Devein fresh prawns (heads on or off) and fry in hot olive oil. Flip over when the prawns start to turn pink and throw on chopped garlic and chilli flakes – I used chipotle for a smoky flavour. Squeeze on the juice of half a lemon and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Serve while hot and dip in allioli.


Willy made a beautiful salad of roasted cherry tomatoes, avocado and buffalo mozzarella with basil, loads of olive oil and some lemon.


Shelina cooked a stunning fritatta with potatoes and red peppers, which would easily pass muster in any Italian trattoria or deli.

“salchichas” de guisantes y pimentón

Last on the barbecue were some odd pea sausages flavoured with pimentón and a lump of cassava wrapped in bananna leaves. Neither proved to be exciting!

In the meantime, Catie prepared salads, which were consumed while I was barbecuing fish, so escaped my camera. Similarly a mountain of cheeses and excellent bread were lost in time.

We consumed large quantities of cava from Sant Sadurní, along with red, white and rosado wines. Everyone left happy!

About Mad Dog
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11 Responses to Late August Barbecue

  1. jmcheney says:

    A Great Barbecue Feast for the Eyes! Even the odd pea sausages were pretty to look upon.
    All that was missing was Me!

  2. audrey says:

    we dont need russian gas… that looks like heaven in the garden , you always do the BEST BBQ ever!

  3. audrey says:

    Garden of Heathen.
    I miss your evening soiree BBQ. very much indeed.

    The sardines are a particular favourite of mine.

  4. Ron says:

    What a BBQ! I want a taste of everything, especially the fish dishes…

  5. What a fabulous spread! In this country a cookout usually means meat but as this shows, grilled seafood and veggies are just as delicious. And those fried zucchini blossoms… my favorite!

    Oh, and by the way, though most people consider summer over by now—here in the US, Labor Day, the first Monday in September marks the tradition end of summer—the season only officially ends on September 21. And I’m sticking to that!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Frank – I cooked a similar one at the beginning of the summer, but it was far more chaotic and less photogenic. That time we had a beautiful monkfish fillet, which tasted incredible with blackened and skinned red peppers.

      It’s still nice and warm here, but the drought has broken and there are thunderstorms and showers at frequent intervals. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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