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!