The preparation of the skate is familiar to both of us, but it was one of the best ever, the fish cooked just right, the polenta coating perfectly crispy, and the bronze fennel innovation gave a favorite a subtle twist.
Note that the biggest challenge in preparing this dish is the delicacy of the skate: It’s always difficult to keep the pieces in tact, but don’t worry, as the sauce can work wonders in disguising any aesthetic inadequacies.
- small skate ‘wings’ from P.E & D.D. Seafood, dredged in coarse polenta from Citarella which had been seasoned with salt and freshly-ground pepper, fried very briefly (3-4 minutes on the first side, a bit less on the other) in a bit of olive oil until golden brown, removed from the pan and (ideally) placed on warm plates, the heat below the pan turned down, knobs of butter, some chopped shallots and finely-minced garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm added, the allium stirred and cooked (‘sweated’) briefly, the flame then turned off entirely, and lemon juice, chopped bronze fennel from Norwich Meadows Farm and a bit of chopped parsley from Tamarack Hollow Farm added to the pan along with a little more butter, all of it stirred once again until the butter melted, the sauce then scattered/poured over the fish
- golden or orange cherry tomatoes from Berried Treasures, halved, then dressed with a good olive oil, salt, freshly-ground black pepper, drops of white balsamic vinegar, and chopped tarragon from Stokes Farm
- the wine was a California (Napa) white, Matthew Iaconis Napa Valley Chardonnay 2014 (a Burgundy style, it’s Matt’s wine, and comes to us via Naked Wines)
- the music was an entire album of flute concertoes and symphonies by Friedrich II Hohenzollern