• Bute St Seafoodie

Poached Skate with Moroccan Flavours

Updated: Apr 6

It looks like we’re seeing the re-start of the skate, and hopefully will continue to see it on the stall for the coming months. So here’s another dish pairing skate with spicy flavours, and it comes from Rick Stein’s Food Heroes. His recipe is entitled “warm poached skate with the sunny and aromatic flavours of morocco”. And that’s exactly what it is... it’s just that that title is too long to go on my blog.


Since the skate is poached in a court bouillon, this is a very tasty way to use unskinned skate which is considerably cheaper than that which has already been skinned.

The ingredient list may look long, but once everything is prepared, the dish only takes 10 minutes to cook and a minute or so to plate up. Having the characteristic flavours of Morocco, a mound of couscous on the side would be a nice accompaniment, to mop up the sauce. In fact, making a little extra sauce may be welcome for that very reason.



Poached Skate with Moroccan Flavours


Ingredients (serves 2)

800ml Court Bouillon (see note), hot

450g skate wing (skinned or unskinned) cut into two portions

A pinch of saffron strands, steeped in 1 tsp warm water for 10 mins

1 plum tomato, skinned, deseeded and diced

½ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp ground cumin

3-4 tbsp roasted red pepper, cut into thin strips (see note)

Fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely copped, quantity to taste

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1½ tsp lemon juice

1 tsp fresh coriander, finely shredded

1 tsp fresh mint, finely shredded

Salt and freshly ground black pepper




Method

  1. In a deep frying pan, or sauté pan, poach the skate wings gently in the hot court bouillon for 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, warm (without boiling) all the remaining ingredients, except the shredded coriander and mint, in a saucepan.

  3. Lift the skate wings from the court bouillon and, if necessary, remove the skin. Place each skate wing on plates.

  4. Add the shredded coriander and mint to the sauce, check the seasoning, then spoon over the skate wings.

  5. Serve with a wedge of lemon and a green salad and/or couscous.


Notes

  • A court bouillon is a lightly flavoured stock, quick to make, and typically used for poaching, especially fish. To make the one suggested in the original recipe, sufficient for two servings, put ½ sliced onion, 1 sliced celery stick, 1 fresh bay leaf, 1½ tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 4 black peppercorns and 800ml water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes. The court bouillon is now ready for use, but can kept in the fridge for a day or so. If you wish, the court bouillon can be strained before use.

  • Roasted red peppers can be bought in jars, but these will not surpass the flavour of a home-made roasted red pepper, especially when employed as a feature ingredient in a recipe. The method is simple: coat a red pepper with a film of cooking oil and place under a very hot grill. Turn regularly until the pepper has blackened on all sides, about 20 minutes (this process is in fact even bettered by blackening the pepper on a barbecue, and can also be done by holding the pepper over a ring on a gas job). Place the pepper in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave for about 15 minutes. Peel away the skin, slice open and remove the seeds trying to reserve the juices. Stored in an airtight container with the juice and some olive oil, the roasted pepper will keep for a good 5 days.


References

  1. "Rick Stein's Food Heroes", Rick Stein (2002), pp. 48: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rick-Steins-Food-Heroes-Stein/dp/056352175

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