I love to buy fresh wild fish from local super markets. Since I do all my grocery shopping in the beginning of the week, I try and cook the fish the same day I buy it so that it actually tastes fresh. There was some really beautiful skate on sale this week and since I had not cooked with it ever since culinary school, I decided to give it a shot. I open it up, ready to dredge and pan-fry and then I realize... I HAVE TO FILLET IT! Oh GOSH! It's been years since I filleted my own fish and I did not even know where to begin with skate! My Internet was down so I could not even look it up! With a sharp fillet knife in hand I went at it...slowly and carefully...eventually the rhythm worked its way back into my hands and I started to remember how it was done...I ended up with 3 beautifully white fillets (the first one, was a bit of an embarrassment actually...oops).
I decided I wanted to go back to my French Culinary roots with this recipe. It was very simply dredged in corn meal and seasoned with salt and pepper. Served with a simple sauce made of shallots, garlic, parsley and lemon juice. Some sauteed seasonal veggies and a glass of wine created the perfect dinner for us! *Here is a link detailing how to fillet a skate fish*
Pan-Fried Skate with Shallots, Garlic and Lemon Juice
1 lb Skate, yielding to fillets Corn Flour for Breading Salt and Pepper Olive Oil for Frying
2 Shallots, diced 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced Juice of half a Lemon 3 Tablespoons Parsley 3 Tablespoons Butter
1. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. 2. Season the corn flour with salt and pepper and dredge skate making sure to cover all surfaces. 3. Once the oil is preheated, pan-fry the skate about 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. *Remember the second side always takes a bit less time. This is a very delicate fish so try not to overcook it or it will be rubbery* 4. Once complete, place fish on paper towels to absorb some of the excess oil. Wipe out pan. 5. Add the butter, shallots and garlic to the pan over medium heat. Let this sweat a little bit, you want them to be tender not caramelized. 6. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice, parsley and remaining butter. Once butter melts, immediately spoon sauce over fish and serve!
*In case anyone is interested, for the veggies, I just sauteed some sliced red peppers with garlic and some frozen Trader Joe's French Green Beans I had. It's a simple and healthy side dish for almost anything.*
Years ago, I followed my dreams and went to culinary school. I went to culinary school to continue the dream that my mother and I always shared: to open up a deli or cafe somewhere and call it our own. Whether that cafe will ever open is still up in the air...but my cooking and my love for food I owe to my mother...and in a way this blog is dedicated to her...I only hope that I can inspire other women with this blog the way my mother inspired me...With her love for food passed onto me, I quickly became a food snob after culinary school. Today, a house, a husband' (and his stomach),and an up and coming business keeps me busy enough without all my gourmet concoctions! But, no matter how busy I am, I still go to my kitchen and cook to retain my sanity. Prehaps this is a way I connect to my mother...but cooking is the only thing that truely soothes my soul. My recent transformation has led me to belive that sometimes you just have to Keep It Simple Stupid...and Cook!
I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead - not sick, not wounded - dead. ~Woody Allen
Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. ~Mark Twain
Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want. ~Gael Greene
Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are. ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
And, of course, the funniest food of all, kumquats. ~George Carlin
Avoid fruit and nuts. You are what you eat. ~Jim Davis
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~George Miller
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~Harriet van Horne
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson
I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian. ~Anonymous
But those aren't the flavors. That'd make too much sense. Apple and pear, according to Dr. Phil, are body types the bars are made for. Hey, I've got some advice. If you look like an apple or a pear, eat an apple or a pear! [On Dr. Phil's energy bars. ~Lewis Black