Saturday, August 27, 2011


serves four

4 small skate wings, edges trimmed
good pinch of sea salt
10 black peppercorns
3 star anise
cayenne pepper
1 fresh bay leaf
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig thyme
1 lemon, peeled and sliced

To serve (optional):
mixed salad leaves
squeeze of lemon juice
splash of extra virgin olive oil

For the potatoes:
1 tablespoon olive oil
400 grams cooked new potatoes, peeled and sliced
40 grams lardons of bacon, blanched
20 grams fresh truffles, grated
4 spring onions, green part included, finely sliced
3-4 juniper berries, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped chervil
20 grams butter
black pepper

For the Grenobloise:
200 grams unsalted butter
1 heaped tablespoon capers, crushed
1 generous dash of red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemons
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons small garlic croutons
black pepper

Put the skate wings in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Add the seasonings, herbs and lemon slices. Bring to a really gentle boil, and simmer for 1-1 1/2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the skate to finish cooking in the hot stock for 8-10 minutes.

While the skate is cooking, fry the potatoes. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the potato slices and fry for 1-2 minutes until they start to become nice blond colour. Add the blanched lardons and fry for another minute. Add the truffle, spring onions, juniper berries and chervil. Finish with a knob of butter and fry for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a warm serving dish. Check the seasoning just before serving.

Now make the Grenobloise sauce. Put the butter in the same pan used for the potatoes. Melt it over medium heat until bubbling and golden nutty brown. Add the capers and cook for just a few seconds. Deglaze the pan with a splash of vinegar and lemon juice. Finish by sprinkling with the croutons and parsley. Season to taste. Immediately remove from the heat and pour into a warm jug.

Drain the skate and remove the bones. Transfer to warm serving plates. Add the potatoes and dress with the sauce. If you wish, serve with mixed salad leaves tossed in a little olive oil and lemon juice.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Pascal Proyart, Good Food Live, Good Food Channel/UK-TV

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