Fried Skate Wings with Very Quick Homemade Tartare Sauce
People are scared of skate, one of the finest and most delicious fish of all. But don't be: the flesh slides away from those ribby, gelatinous bones with simplicity and ease, so do give it a try. I love it simply plain with lemon squeezed over or with tartare sauce.
This sauce has a mayonnaise base, which in this case is made by the quick method: that is, using a whole egg and a food processor or blender. The sauce will keep in a clean screw-top jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can also be served with any plain-grilled fish or with fishcakes.
For a change to the tartare sauce, replace the lemon juice and parsley with lime juice and fresh coriander.
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This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two
Begin by making the tartare sauce. Break the egg into the bowl of the processor, add the salt, garlic and mustard powder, then switch the motor on and, through the feeder tube, add the oil in a thin, steady trickle, pouring it as slowly as you can (which even then takes only about 2 minutes).
When the oil is in and the sauce has thickened, add some pepper and all the other ingredients. Now switch on the pulse button and pulse until the ingredients are chopped – as coarsely or as finely as you want. Lastly, taste to check the seasoning, then transfer to a serving bowl.
When you are ready to cook the skate wings, take the frying pan and put it over a gentle heat to warm up while you wipe the fish with kitchen paper and coat them with a light dusting of the 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.
Reduce the heat to medium and fry them for 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on their size and thickness. To test if they are cooked, slide the tip of a sharp knife in and push to see if the flesh parts from the bone easily and looks creamy-white.
When the fish is ready, remove it to warm serving plates, garnish with the parsley and serve with the tartare sauce and lemon wedges to squeeze over.
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I've adapted this from a Jewish recipe in which the cakes are coated in matzo meal before frying. Failing that of course wholewheat or even plain flour will do perfectly well.
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