Skate with black butter


by: KillBunny

Skate wings are the edible portions of the skate. When cooked, the flesh separates into little fingers of meat that have a distinctive, rich, gelatinous texture accompanied by a mild flavor similar to that of scallop meat. Raw skate meat is slightly off-white, sometimes pinkish. When cooked, the meat is off-white. Skate meat is on the softer side but firms when chilled.


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serves: 4

4 (8-oz/225-g) skinned skate wings

1 1/2 tablespoons capers in brine (drained and rinsed)


1 1/4 cups (300 ml) dry white wine

5 cups (1.2 liters) water

1/3 cup (85 ml) white wine vinegar

2 leaves bay

12 black peppercorns

1 onion (roughly chopped)

2 carrots (roughly chopped)

2 stalks celery (roughly chopped)

1 teaspoon salt


3/4 cup (175 g) butter

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Nutrition Facts
Skate with black butter

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 397

  • Total Fat: 27.1 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 17 g
  •     Trans Fat: 1.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 97.2 mg
  • Sodium: 1140.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 10.8 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
  •     Sugars: 3.8 g
  • Protein: 10.1 g

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1.  For the court-bouillon, put all the ingredients into a large pan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool, to allow the flavor to improve before using.

2.  Put the skate on a large chopping board. Using a sharp, thin-bladed, flexible knife, make a cut 1 inch (2.5 cm) behind the nose, all the way through the fish. Cut around both sides of the head and then down either side of the backbone, to the tail. Separate the head from the backbone and tail, and set aside. Discard the rest.

3.  Separate the two wings where they are joined at the nose. Work with them one at a time.

4.  Push the tip of the knife under the skin at what was the nose end to release a large flap that you can get hold of. Turn the wing over and release a flap on the other side.

5.  Grab hold of the flap of skin with fish pliers and start to tear it away from the surface of the wing.

6.  Once you have released a small amount, hold the wing down with a dish towel and sharply tear the skin away completely, using the pliers. Turn the wing over and remove the skin from the other side. Repeat with the second wing.

7.  Trim about 1 inch (2.5 cm) away from the thinnest edge of each wing.

8.  Put the skate wings into a large pan. Pour in the court-bouillon, bring to a boil, and simmer very gently for 15 minutes, until they are cooked through.

9.  Carefully lift the skate wings out of the pan, letting the excess liquid drain off, and place them on four warmed plates. Sprinkle with the capers and keep warm.

10.  For the black butter, melt the butter in a frying pan. As soon as it starts to foam, turn quite brown, and smell very nutty, add the vinegar and then the parsley. Let it boil down for a minute or so, until slightly reduced. Pour the butter over the skate and serve straight away.

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