Skate with Browned Butter & Tomato Shallot Salad

It's week 1 of Weekend in a French Kitchen and I'm so happy to be back with the book group.  The recipes paired very well as did the delicious E'toile 2010 Chardonnay that was paired by Steve's Liquor.  They used Chef Boulud's suggestions and found us something very close.   An added bonus for this week was the company of neighbors who were home and accepted the invitation to be experimental guests.  They love to cook, and enjoy food so were up for the task.

For the Skate with Browned Butter from Daniel Boulud's book, the first step was to find Skate in the Madison, WI area (let alone Baraboo!)  It's not exacting a seafood mecca, but thanks for my fish mongers at The Seafood Center, not only did they bring in Skate, but they also offered to filet the fish off the cartilage.  And, sent it home with Gary so I could see it.  A big shout out to them.  I'm sure we'll be seeing more of each other over the next few years!

The Skate is very delicate.  The fanned pieces on the background are the thin cartilage wings from which the meat is filleted.

Just before poaching the fish, I started the potatoes.  The recipe called for Yukon Gold.  Gary found some beautiful fingerlings in the grocery store, so I was able to cut them in pieces leaving the tender peel rather than removing it first.  I've never put lemon juice into the cooking water of potatoes. My guess is that the lemon juice will help the potatoes from discoloring.

I don't have a fish poacher so I used a two inch deep hotel pan, about 13x9.  The fillets fit nicely.  I simmered them in the salt, vinegar and white pepper broth for exactly eight minutes and moved them to a warm plate while I made the brown butter.  Oh what a lovely smell!  Nutty, and luxurious.  When I added the capers, there was a snappy sizzle and where were ready to eat.

Having had a pleasure of dining on French cuisine in France, the smell of the capers, shallot, and parsley brings back such fond food memories.  The herbs and touch of butter in the air took me back to a French bistro.

The Skate was served with the second recipe this week.  The Tomato, Shallot and Parsley Salad.  

The recipe is very straight forward with no fancy tips or tricks to report.  I used Fallot Mustard, the one in the cute paint can.  It's a terrific Dijon.  Not too sharp or sour.

My only regret is that tomatoes just aren't ready yet, and won't be for at least another month.  We did find some on the vine tomatoes that did the job.  When topped with wonderful herbs and vinaigrette, it was hard to tell

The meal was delicious and has me looking forward to week 2.

If you'd like to make with recipe, you can pick up either book book at your local bookstore or through an online book seller. 

In my first post for Weekend In a French Kitchen, you can find links to the books.  You may also be able to find the recipes though searches.  I highly recommend both recipes.  They've made their way to the "make this again" list.

See you next week!

Peace, Love and Dessert,