The last time I had skate it was er...not...so awesome. I didn't know skate breaks down faster than other fish (since it's not even...fish...really! Case in point.) But anyhoo, so when skate breaks down, it releases uric acid from its skin. I hadn't kept it *that* long but uh...when I was eating it I thought to myself, "HRMM hrmm HRMM. this tastes rather...menthol-y. And intriguingly...reminiscent of...hair dye -.- in terms of smell." And there you go! The urea translates to a pungent ammonia smell/taste! VOILA!! GENIUS MOVE!
I was congested that night and...hadn't noticed anything prior to cooking. Except that the skate fillet had released a bit of liquid in the paper package. Silly, silly, daft, incomprehensibly oblivious fooooool that I am. BRAVAAAAA. Anyway, the sauce I made that time was *the BizzoOomB*! It didn't taste that pungently of Pine-sol and cleaners, esp w/ my kick ass reduction so bow chicka bow wowww I've recreated the dish tonight. With fresh skate!!
I used borsari salt on the skate, sauteed it skin side down with butter & olive oil and garlic for about 1 min, flipped that bitch and left it on for about 40s or so b/f adding the tomaaaters! Which...of course I seasoned with sprigs of thyme and a few dashes of fish sauce! :D :D :D
The first two below show the early. Yummmaaay. Springy springy! The thyme makes it kinda...bright/subtly minty feeling. Thyme and dill! i sure like'em. Rosemary more for roasting, esp mah starches but...I don't care to use them for much else.
I broke the wing in two. A giant brown fan isn't that interesting to look at. The skate wings are pretty massive--about $6.99/lb which is essentially one wing! MASSIVE!! Corrugated looking! Wee! The combo of fish sauce and browned butter added a *lot* more color to the fleshy side of the skate fillet but WHATEBBS i lurve the coloring! You can see the liquids bubbling for a bit up there.SEE? I dunno, I can see how fun it is for me to poke this fish repeatedly and how it has a mild flavor which the texture complements (or at least adds to the fun of the fish, in my opinion). It doesn't flake at all like other white fish, and doesn't come off in chunks or glistens like chilean sea bass. BUT YAY!
I much prefer eating this with soba noodles, kind of like the chicken I make similarly to this but diff seasoning in the sauces. The tomatoes get pretty thick and coats the noodles really well (I for some reason don't really like it with italian pastas--i think b/c the soba has a much cleaner taste, esp the buckwheat!).
I don't want to rewrite the recipe again b/c I'm *lazy* so just...saute & season skate wing skin side down with garlic for 1 min, flip and saute for a bit then throw in tomaters and sprigs of thyme, add water if necessary (depending on how much tomatoes u put in). At the end I kind of leave it on low heat w/ the lid on to steam a smidge to maintain springiness and for the tomato sauce not to reduce too much! throw in some butter last min if u want!! :D