Skate with Apples and Capers


For the sauce

  • 4 1/2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced finely
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste

For the apples

  • 2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 1/2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch of salt

For the Skate

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 4 (4-6 oz) fillets skate
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a handful of flour
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 3 tbsp capers


To make the sauce:

  • Heat a saucepan over high heat. Add 3 tbsp of the butter and swirl. Add the shallot and lower the heat to medium. Cook, stirring until the shallot is golden brown. Add the brandy, the stock, and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by one third, then swirl in the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp of butter. Season with the salt and pepper and keep warm.

To cook the apples:

  • Heat a saute pan over high heat and add the oil As it begins to smoke, add the butter and apples and saute for about 1 minute.
  • Add the sugar and cook until carmelized, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove to warm plate.

To cook the skate:

  • Heat a large saute pan over high heat.
  • Add the oil and the butter to the pan. Spice the skate with salt and pepper and dust with the flour. When the oil and butter in the pan are smoking, add the skate with the whitest side of the fish down. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook until golden brown. Turn the skate, and finish cooking on the other side until brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Squeeze lemon juice over the fish.
  • Just before removing the fish from the pan to serve, add the capers. Pour some of the sauce in the center of the serving plate, followed by the skate. Top with the apples.


Recipe from the Harbor Fish Market, Seafood Recipes from Maine cookbook.
"Skate can be one of the hardest fish to come by.  When it's available, I recommend snatching some up - it's delicious and under appreciated!  Whole, the wing of a ray is difficult to fillet because of its tough skin and thorny horns.  When you buy the fillet, it has been removed from the gelatinous cartilage of the wing and skin to produce a white finger- or fan-like flesh.  When you get it home, wash the fillet and cut it into manageable portions.
It's said that in the old days, skate could be punched with a cookie cutter and substituted for scallops.  Because of the rich flavor of skate, it was considered to be a good "poor man's scallop".  In my forty years in the business, I've never seen it done! " Nick Alfiero
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!