Skate wings have everything going for them. They have a fine-flavoured, creamy flesh that comes away from the bone with no fuss or bother, and they're dead easy to cook. I love them shallow-fried to a crisp, golden colour, with the following sharp, lemony and quite gutsy salsa poured in at the last moment. Serve with a mixture of dressed green salad leaves, and some tiny new potatoes. The salsa also works well with fried cod steaks or any other fried fish.
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith's Summer Collection and The Delia Collection: Fish
For the skate:
1 lb (450 g) skate wings (2 small or 1 large cut in half)
I think it's preferable to make the salsa not too far ahead as the parsley tends to discolour, though you could make up most of the salsa in advance and add the parsley at the last moment – either way, it's very quick and easy.
All you do is crush a clove of garlic with ½ teaspoon of salt using a pestle and mortar (or on a board using the back of a tablespoon) till you get a paste-like consistency. Then simply combine this with all the other salsa ingredients and mix everything very thoroughly.
To cook the skate wings, take a 10 inch (25 cm) frying pan and put it on a gentle heat to warm up while you wipe the fish with kitchen paper and then coat it with a light dusting of seasoned flour.
Now turn the heat up to high, add the oil to the pan and, as soon as it's really hot, add the skate wings.
Fry them for about 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on their size and thickness – slide the tip of a sharp knife in and push to see if the flesh parts from the bone easily and looks creamy white.
Then pour in the salsa all round the fish to heat very briefly. It doesn't need to cook but simply to warm a little.
Serve the fish straight away with the salsa spooned over.