Published: December 2006

Chef Andrew Zimmerman of del Toro – Chicago - IL
Adapted by StarChefs

The delicate texture and elegant scallop-like flavor of skate make it a favorite for many chefs and diners. Andrew Zimmerman stacks, sous-vides and compresses layers of skate wing to form a meaty, tender, filet, reminiscent of halibut in its density, that retains the slightly sweet flavor skate is known for. Layering the skate and then sous-viding it creates a wonderfully juicy center that wouldn’t be possible with a traditional thin cut of skate wing, and this process of hermetic poaching and compression uses the skate's natural gelatin to form a homogenous, wholly-new laminated skate.

Step 1: Alternately layer small and large skate wings to form a thick, uniform fillet.

Step 2:
Place skate in Cryovac, cover in fumet, and sous-vide for 25 minutes.

Step 3:
Compress the skate between two pans, with 3 pounds of weight on top, and chill for at least 4 hours.

Step 4:
Portion the skate to 5-ounce rectangles and reheat as desired.

Crispy Laminated Skate Wing with Caper, Raisin, and Pine Nut Relish and Brown Butter Vinaigrette
Chef Andrew Zimmerman of del Toro - Chicago, IL
Adapted by

Yield: 4 Servings

Crispy Laminated Skate Wing with Caper, Raisin, and Pine Nut Relish and Brown Butter Vinaigrette on
photo by Antoinette Bruno


    Laminated Skate Wing:
  • 3 ½ pounds skate wing, boned, skin removed, portioned to two
  • large and two small fillets
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup skate fumet

    Caper, Raisin and Pine Nut Relish:
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons golden raisins
  • Cava Vinegar, to cover raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon small capers, rinsed
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon shallot, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

    Brown Butter Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch lecithin
  • Salt

    Arborio Rice Flour:
  • ½ cup Arborio rice
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup semolina flour
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

    To Assemble and Serve:
  • Grape seed oil, for frying
  • Arborio Rice Flour, for dredging
  • Chervil or micro Arugula

For the Laminated Skate Wing:

Stack a large skate fillet with one of the smaller fillets so that the thinner side of the small fillet is on top of the thicker side of the large fillet, forming one fillet of uniform thickness. Layer another small fillet and top with the remaining large fillet in a similar fashion. Lightly season with salt and thyme. Place the stack of skate into a large sous-vide bag and cover with fumet. Seal the bag with significant pressure according to the sous-vide machine's instructions.

Bring a large pot of water to 165ºF, using a thermometer to maintain this temperature. Cook the skate for approximately 25 minutes. Remove the bagged skate carefully, cool at room temperature, then chill in an ice bath. Once the skate is chilled, lightly press the bagged skate between 2 sheet pans with approximately 3 pounds of weight on top. Press and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Remove the laminated skate from the bags, peel off the thyme, and gently scrape off any jellied fumet. Trim the skate and cut into 5-ounce rectangular portions. Refrigerate the skate until ready to finish the dish.

For the Caper, Raisin and Pine Nut Relish:
Soak the raisins in Cava vinegar until plump, then drain and roughly chop. Mix the raisins with capers, pine nuts, shallots, parsley and olive oil. Season with salt, if needed.

For the Brown Butter Vinaigrette:
In a small saucepan simmer the cream and butter, stirring constantly, until the mixture reduces, breaks and the milk solids begin to toast. Cook until the milk solids are a deep brown. Remove from heat and allow to rest a few minutes. When the milk solids have settled to the bottom, carefully pour the butter fat from the top and reserve, keeping warm. In a blender, combine the toasted milk solids with the lemon juice and a pinch of lecithin. Blend just to mix, then slowly add the butterfat to emulsify the vinaigrette. Season with salt and additional lemon juice if needed. Keep the vinaigrette slightly warm.

For the Arborio Rice Flour:
Grind Arborio rice to a powder in a strong blender. Sift the all-purpose and semolina flour together with the salt and pepper. Add the flour mixture to the Arborio powder and combine.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat the grape seed oil in a sauté pan. Lightly dredge the blocks of skate in the Arborio Rice Flour and season with salt. Pan fry the skate, turning to crisp all sides, until the skate is heated through. On a plate, top the skate with relish and drizzle the brown butter around. Top with chervil or arugula.