Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Baked skate with risotto.

I've been cooking skate for years, it's an inexpensive ($5 a kilogram) fish yet delicious and easy to handle and cook. A flat fish with two wings, it contains no bones - the flesh is on a cartilagenous skeleton - far easier than bones to deal with.

We baked two pieces of skate in half a cup of white wine, the juice of a lemon and dash of water, with a clove of garlic and rings of red onion in the dish. Cooks in twenty minutes.

Served with a nice, basic, creamy risotto on the side - a little onion and garlic in olive oil, arborio rice in the warm oil to coat, alternative dashes of white wine and hot chicken stock to absorb slowly until cooked, half a cup of grated parmigiano or other grating cheese for creaminess at the end, salt, pepper, plenty of grated parsley.

And a rocket salad on the side - since the rocket is taking off (!) again in the garden - dressed in nothing but a squirt of balsamic vinegar. (How ingenious, salad leaves that come already peppered!)

PS: In summer, I enjoy barbecuing skate. It holds together beautifully. I marinade it in garlic, lemon, maybe some soy and ginger - anything at all - and blacken it on the grill, peeling away the outer layers to reveal beautifully tender and fragrant flesh inside.

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