So, having had a moment of madness slow cooking pork and beans not so long ago, I have reverted to summer style cooking. Phew!
My lovely Fish man, who is soon going to have his own fan club out here in blogland, came up trumps this week with a delicious skate (or ray) for us. He knows that Big Man and I both love it, so if he can get hold of skate, he always saves me one.
They´re odd looking fish, a bit scary looking too to deal with, but actually quite straightforward when you know how.
A skate has two very distinct wings and if you get your knife in between the nodule and the “back bone” it just cuts straight off.
Voilá, two perfect portions.
And the other bits still have a lot of meat on them so pop them into a pot with some water, bay leaves, peppercorns and any vegetables you have to hand and you´ll very soon have a delicious fish stock and lots of bits of delicious skate trimmings to put into a paella or a seafood stew.
I dusted the wings in flour, seasoned them and then fried gently in a huge frying pan in a very little olive oil (although it would be very good with butter). When the skate was lightly browned on both sides I put them to one side and kept warm, turned up the heat and fried some capers until brown then added a good squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of white wine and reduced until just a few tablespoons of juices were left. I poured these over the skate, poured two good glasses of white wine and we sat back to enjoy.
When I was very young my parents both worked in the catering trade, but Sunday lunch we sometimes managed to spend time together. My father´s idea of a relaxing Sunday lunch was to go on a busman´s holiday and check out his pals´ restaurants. This meant I got to visit some really quite nice restaurants in central London from a very early age. No concession was made (quite rightly I still feel) to children by preparing “kids meals”, we all got whatever the chef or manager thought was his best dish of the day. I loved it when we got served skate as the meat slides easily off the bone and there are no tricky bits to get lodge in a small person´s throat. Memories of this dish take me back to Soho, London circa 1975 – hence my retro photo!
If you like this, check out Tandy´s delicious Hake with Olives, Anchovy Butter and Caper Berries over at Lavender and Lime.