My Favorite, Skate Wing

I remember the first time I wanted to try skate wing. At the time I heard a lot about skate. A few restaurants around town were serving skate and thought I would give it a try! I have a habit of taking on tasks without deep research.
So I took my first step and ordered some skate from a local company and thought I would try five pounds or so for Saturday night menu item. The skate arrived early Saturday morning and when I got to work I was very excited. I had some scheduling to do along with purchasing and prep before I got started on my skate.
I took out my cutting board and sharp knives and laid a piece of skate down. The skate was fresh and looked a little different than I have seen before. As I turned the skate over I looked and saw that the skate still had the skin on. I took my knife and peeled a corner of the skin back and then tried peel the skin while holding it with a towel. I ripped and peeled but could not get the skin to come off. A little frustrated I took my knife and tried to find the bones. Digging and cutting deep into the skate I could not find the cartilage or the bone! I was very frustrated now because it was getting late and I needed to cook one plate for the servers to taste. I finally managed to get a couple of orders that looked presentable for the evening and put the rest away. That evening the couple of orders that I had was a success but I was very frustrated and after a busy night I decided to go home and forget about my skate.

I put my skate experience behind me for a couple of months until I received a product list from http://triarseafood.com/
On the product list was skate wing, curious I called the owner Peter and asked him if the skate had the bones intact and the skin on? He said the skate was skinned and de-boned. I had to ask him to repeat that and he confirmed that the skate was skinned and boned. I decided to try just five pounds and he said he would overnight it for a Saturday delivery along with my normal order.The skate arrived as planed and I decided to open the large box, remove the ice packs and the skate.

I opened the plastic container removed the skate and placed it on the on a plate. The skate was shiny, smelled so fresh and looked so beautiful without the bones and skin. I seasoned the skate with a squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt from Hawaii and freshly ground pepper. I placed the skate in a very hot saute pan with a couple of knobs of butter. I turned the skate over to cook for a few minutes longer and basted it with some of the butter that began to brown in the pan.

As I placed the skate on a plate I could smell the fresh aroma of the ocean air and the nutty aroma of the brown butter, amazing. I took my fork and place the most delicate seafood in my mouth and was amazed at the freshness of the product.
Now I have to find the right recipe for the skate. I did some research and thought that I would stick to the basics. Following the basics has never failed me and I learned over the years that this is a good and safe way to start. I sauteed the skate as above and topped it with some citrus sections and a almond brown butter. Delicious. What a success. The servers the guests loved the skate that evening and we did sell out!

The next evening I sauteed the skate and topped it with browned butter, fried caper, diced tomato, garlic and chopped parsley!

There are 3 comments

  1. The first time I had Skate was in a little restaurant in Paris, my wife had fresh cheese for dessert which made the rest of the trip very memorable..lol…but what a wonderful dish the skate was……it brings back memories….

    Great job!!

  2. Chef,

    God, I love skate!

    So I've got two wine pairings for you.

    For the critus almond brown butter skate I'd have to go with
    2007 Lioco Demuth Vineyard Chardonnay Anderson valley, California

    and for the tomatoe caper brown butter skate I'd have to go with something only Mckendrick's has.

    1967 Borgogno Barolo DOCG
    It would have have the acid and power to handle the tomatos and the caper's.

    Great post Chef, see you soon!

    Watch out for those new decanters

  3. http://www.pastisny.com/index.php

    The first and only time I ever had skate was here, at Pastis. Very nice dish, rich and light at the same time. It’s the first item on their dinner menu!

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