I spotted skate wings again at Whole Foods, and the crab and potato gratin from The Basque Kitchen became a given (it’s not the first time i’m thinking of skate as more than a perfect sub for a crab – more on this here)
The celery root slaw is from one of the last issues of Gourmet and is amazing: a perfect balance of texture and flavor.
The gratin might remind you of a fish pie – a rich puree of russet potatoes boiled with garlic; a fish barely cooked in sofrito of onion and piquillo peppers deglazed with white wine, shredded and mixed into the puree, along with some basil and chives, sprinkled with grated manchego and broiled. The ratio of potato/fish is quite important – too much of the former and the flavor would be diluted and boring – 1.5lb of russet to 1lb of skate wing was appropriate.
As for the slaw – that’s the first time i used a shredding disk on a food processor and the resulting vegetable strands were ideal in salad. A trick of adding some cucumber was a clever way to soften the texture, while basil, briny capers and a bit of garlic complimented celery flavor nicely without being overwhelming.
…I want some more of both dishes…