forum: Everything else

#1 Wed 04 Jun 08 8:58am


Occupation Retired
From Essex
Member since Fri 07 Mar 08

Cooking Skate, Roker, (Thornback Ray)

Hi Jamie,
First of all is there an easy way to skin these fish, and secondly, how would you cook and serve them?

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#2 Wed 04 Jun 08 10:08am


Forum champ
From Scotland
Member since Thu 15 Jul 04

Re: Cooking Skate, Roker, (Thornback Ray)

Hello Roscoe -

Sorry, not Jamie, but I hope I can help.

Very difficult to skin Skate while in its raw state.  Much better to cook it first.

Here are a couple of Jamie's recipes.

Jamie's recipe for Skate simmered in a Sweet Tomato Sauce from his book "Jamie's Dinners" - serves 4.

I got the idea for this skate dish when I was in Sicily and was served a large loin of tuna (the length of my arm) poached in a fragrant tomato sauce.  The results were fantastic.  The fish and sauce had each flavoured the other and both had become the better for it.   A bit like a good marriage!  As large pieces of fresh tuna are reasonably hard to get hold of, I tried it with skate.  The results were just as good, as skate has a fantastic meaty texture too, so feel free to use either fish in this recipe.

4 x 255gr/9oz skate wings
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, bashed up
olive oil
3 x 400gr tins of good quality plum tomatoes, finely chopped or pureed
zest and juice of 2 lemons
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 anchovy fillets, halved
1 small handful of rosemary tips

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas 4 then find yourself a casserole type pan or deep roasting tray that will fit all the skate wings in (the skate needs to be totally covered by the sauce when it cooks, so make sure the fish fits in nice and snugly.  You can slightly overlap the thinner ends of the wings).  In this pan or tray, slowly fry the onion, garlic and coriander seeds in a couple of lugs of olive oil until softened, but not coloured.  Then add your tomatoes, lemon zest and juice and season lightly with the salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Bring the sauce to a simmer.

Meanwhile, using the tip of a small, sharp knife, make small incisions in the fatter central part of the fish.  Push half an anchovy fillet into each incision and then spike with a small piece of rosemary.  Do this three times on both sides of each fish.  Now carefully submerge the fish in the tomato sauce, making sure that every part is covered.  Put the pan or tray into the oven and cook slowly for around 15 minutes, depending on how thick the skate wings are (if the flesh pulls off the bone you know it's cooked beautifully),  Correct the seasoning and take to the table straight away.

This can be served as it is, with just the sauce for company like they do in Italy, or you can have it with things like mashed potato or polenta, salad or garden greens,  If you have any left over, you can even flake the fish off the bone and toss it with pasta, but my favourite way is just with some really fresh ciabatta to mop up the tomato sauce.

Jamie's recipe for Skate Wings with Prosciutto, Radicchio, Capers and Lemon from his book "The Naked Chef" - serves 4.

Make sure the skate is really fresh and cook it on the day you buy it.  Choose skate wings weighing about 340gr / 12oz, as there's quite a lot of bone in the middle.  Ask your fishmonger to take off the middle knuckles and trim the wings.

4 x 340gr / 12oz wings of skate
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a little flour for dusting
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 knobs of butter
9 - 12 slices of prosciutto or parma ham
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 head of radicchio
2 tablespoons capers, soaked in water
juice of 2 lemons

Rinse the skate wings, pat dry and season with salt and pepper.  Lightly dust with flour, shaking off any excess.  Get the pan really hot, add the oil, then add four knobs of butter and the skate together and turn down the heat to medium high.  Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until the skate is nicely coloured.  (If all the wings don't fit in your pan together, you will need to repeat this process, using 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 knob of butter as you cook each wing and giving the pan a quick wipe in between with some kitchen paper).  Place all the skate on a roasting tray and then finish off in the oven, at 230C/450F/gas 8, for about 4 - 5 minutes or until the flesh just pulls away from the bone.

Slice the prosciutto and radicchio finely.  Using the pan again, fry the prosciutto until golden, then add the garlic, radicchio and capers, reduce the heat and add the last knob of butter.  The prosciutto should slightly crispen and the radicchio will wilt.  Add the lemon juice and immediately tip over the skate wings.  Lovely!

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#3 Wed 04 Jun 08 10:20am


Occupation Retired
From Essex
Member since Fri 07 Mar 08

Re: Cooking Skate, Roker, (Thornback Ray)

Thanks Tanya,
But how would you cook it with all those spines, and spurs?

I have skinned many Skate, (Thornback Ray), that I've cauught, and although it is hard to pull off the skin using pliers and a filleting knife, it can be done, also there is a lot of slime under the skin, and I've never heard of them being cooked in their skins

Can you enlighten me please?

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#4 Tue 10 May 11 2:23pm


Member since Tue 10 May 11

Re: Cooking Skate, Roker, (Thornback Ray)

The easiest way to skin skate is to put it on your draining board and pour boiling water over it, repreat with the other side then scrap the skin of with a knife, reduce the cooking time slightly as the flesh would start to cook from the hot water

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