Long thought of as a “trash fish,” skate is one of the truly great seafood items: tender, sweet, well-textured—and cheap. Which is why many chefs are evangelical about running it as a special. As it becomes more popular it will no doubt become more and more expensive. Cleaning it, meaning removing the delicate fillets from the cartilage (though it’s perfectly fine to cook it with cartilage intact) and the thick, rubbery skin (which must be removed), is tricky, so have your fishmonger do the work.
Note also that skate, like other more delicate and subtle white-fleshed fishes, is very perishable. You want to buy it and cook it on the day it came in.—Anthony Bourdain
1/4 cup (56 g) flour
Salt and finely ground white pepper
2 skate wings, skinned and boned out
4 tablespoons (56 g) butter
1 tablespoon (14g) capers
1/2 cup (112 g) croutons
Juice of 1 lemon
1 sprig flat parsley, finely chopped
Peeled, seeded segments of 1 lemon (optional)
1. Put the flour in the shallow bowl and season it with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in the flour and shake off the excess. Re-season the fish with salt and pepper.
2. In the saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon (14 g) of the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter has foamed and subsided, add the fish and cook over high heat for 2 minutes.
3. Add 1 more tablespoon (14 g) of butter and turn the fish, cooking the other side for 2 minutes. Transfer the fish to the serving platter.
4. Discard the butter from the pan and then add the remaining 2 tablespoons (28 g) of butter. Cook over high heat until it foams and subsides, then add the capers and croutons. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the lemon juice and parsley. (You can add the lemon segments at this point as well.) Remove from the heat and spoon the sauce over the fish.
Recipe © 2004 Anthony Bourdain. All rights reserved.