I took the kids to the Union Square Greenmarket the other day to buy some tomato plants for our balcony, and I also picked up some skate for dinner from the fresh fish stand. Skate has always been one of my favorite fish to eat, but it is not always easy to find. Whenever I see some at the market I buy it because it is always fresh and usually only about $4.50 a pound. The only catch is that it is not cleaned, and skate is probably one of the toughest fish to fillet because it is so thin and fragile. Besides that, this is a simple and easy way to cook it. It has great crispness and should appeal to anyone, even kids. And if you really, really don’t like skate, you can try this with another thin, flat fish (flounder, sole, etc…), but skate seems to hold its shape, while any other fish might start to fall apart.
Crispy Skate (serves 4)
4 skate fillets, cleaned and filleted
Salt and Pepper
about 1/2 cup cornstarch, for dredging
1/4 cup oil
Season the skate on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy frying pan until quite hot. Dust both sides of the skate liberally with cornstarch and lay directly in the frying pan. Cook on medium-high heat until golden on one side, then turn each piece over and cook until the other side is also golden. It should now be finished, unless your skate is unusually thick. If this is the case you should flip it again and cook for as long as necessary. Serve immediately.