Skate with Smoked Chile Butter, Capers, Tarragon & Tomato Salad and Polenta Cakes

April 13, 2014

Serves: 4

Smoked Chile Butter
1¼ sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 tablespoons chipotle puree
2 teaspoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Tomato Salad
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons basil chiffonade
Combine all ingredients and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
4 skate fillets, off bone
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Wondra flour
Olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
Chipotle Butter (recipe above)
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
Tomato Salad (recipe above)

1. Season skate on both sides with salt and pepper. Place flour on a large plate and season with salt and pepper. Dredge skate on both sides in the flour and tap off any excess flour.

2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Cook the skate on both sides until lightly golden brown and just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.

3. Add wine to pan and cook until reduced by half. Whisk in the cold chipotle butter a few tablespoons at a time and whisk until emulsified. Add capers, lemon juice and tarragon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the fish and top with some of the tomato salad.

Polenta Cakes
3 cups water
1 cup white cornmeal, plus more for dredging
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted cold butter
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup canola oil

1. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.

2. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the cornmeal, a little a time, whisking constantly with a wire whisk. Once all the cornmeal has been added, turn the heat to low and cover the pot.

3. Stir the mixture, using a wooden spoon, every 5 minutes and continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture is very creamy, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan and butter and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the ricotta (does not need to be totally mixed in)

4. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Cut the polenta 8 2-inch circles.

5. Spread 1½ cups of cornmeal on a large plate and season with salt and pepper. Dredge each cake on both sides in the cornmeal. Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a 9-inch cast iron pan or a high sided sauté pan over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Saute the cakes in batches of 4 until golden brown on each side, drain on a plate lined with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining oil and cakes.