On the East End of Long Island we’re lucky enough to have skate caught locally. For those of you unfamiliar with skate, it’s a winged fish–a member of the stingray family. The wings are delicate and light–I would characterize their flavor as very similar to crab.
The French prepare this fish simply by searing in brown butter. Sometimes, capers or lemon are added to cut the richness of the butter.
Tonight, I’m in the mood for something crispy on the outside/tender on the inside. I’m going to do my standard breading operation–flour, then egg, then seasoned bread crumbs (my homemade crumbs–seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg and fresh parsley). Then into a skillet of hot olive oil. The fish is done within about 3 minutes total.
To add a little acidity to the dish, I’ve sauteed a couple of slices of lemon in olive oil until they’re golden brown. It might seem like lemon has too assertive a flavor to actually eat it in slices, but the sauteing mellows and sweetens the lemon and the result is very fish-friendly.
Crispy skillet potatoes with sage and garlic will accompany my fish (you can find the recipe in my prior “dinner for one” post, only substituting sage for rosemary), along with a salad of baby arugula, fennel and grape tomatoes, dressed with olive oil and lemon (predictable but I never get tired of it).
Crispy Skate with Sauteed Lemon
2 skate wings, off the bone
flour for dredging
seasoned bread crumbs for dredging
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 a lemon, sliced paper thin
Salt and pepper to taste
Season skate with salt and pepper, then dredge skate in flour, shaking off excess. Then dip in beaten egg.
Shake off any excess egg, then dip in crumbs.
Gently slip into hot olive oil and on high heat, brown for 2 minutes per side.
In the same skillet, saute lemon slices (make sure they’re paper thin) until theyre golden brown (about a minute per side). Serve a couple of lemon slices over each wing.
Depending on what your seasoned crumbs taste like, this ends up tasting a bit like a crab cake.