Where we use fillets for almost every type of fish, it’s completely different with skate. The so-called skate wings are used, which are actually highly developed fins.
Skate wing must be extremely fresh; if it stays at the fishmonger for just a day too long, it develops a smell reminiscent of ammonia. So, if you want to prepare this particularly tasty piece of fish, order it from your fishmonger.
Skate wing is delicious when fried in sizzling butter and finished with parsley, capers, and lemon. Just like with these pan-fried soles.
In this case, ask your fishmonger to fillet it, so that the cartilage is removed. If you’re going to poach the skate wing as in the recipe below, it’s better if it’s not filleted; it stays firmer that way. You can push the filaments off the bone with a fork or spoon while eating.
A skate wing can weigh up to 800 grams each, which is sufficient for 2 to 3 people. Skate wing of about 300 grams is perfect as a main course for one person.
Poached skate wing with a spicy beurre blanc, stewed spinach and pommes soufflées
- Divide the fish broth between 2 wide pans and bring to a simmer. Season the skate wings with pepper and salt, then let 2 skate wings slide into each pan. Reduce the heat and let them poach for about 12 minutes. Gently check with a fork if the meat is starting to come off the bone. Remove from the heat and let it sit in the broth for a while.
- In a saucepan, heat a dash of ginger syrup and add the curry powder. Stir well until the curry powder is dissolved. Pour in the beurre blanc and bring it to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and emulsify just before serving with butter, as explained in the recipe.
- Heat a small dash of olive oil in a wide skillet and sauté the spinach until it starts to wilt. Season with pepper and salt, and stir in the pine nuts.
- Remove the skate wings from the broth, pat them slightly dry with paper towels, and plate them. Spoon the spinach alongside and generously sauce. Garnish with the pommes soufflées.