I uploaded my new cooking tutorial to my Utube Channel when i cook a delicious skate wing fish with some meat jus. I call it my ‘surf n turf’ which is a very retro sayin of cooking meat and fish together in one dish, super oldschool. To be fair its not even real surf (sea) and turf (soil) cause i dont cook any sort of meat at all – only im using some jus as a sauce – which made out of animal bones. So its everything but not vegetarian – u can still argue if its real ‘meat’ or not. It is for me.
So i planned to cook a totally different dish on that day – its always Murphy who makes sure things going in a different direction. I got a gorgeous piece of organic celeriac bulb from a friend Chef Harry ( @harrydyerbonviveur ) who works at Pale Green Dot Farming with lots of amazing vegetables. So i think celeriac is not too popular vegetable but i think the opposite and its f@cking great and so easy to work with and got a real deep rich satisfying flavour. Perfect winter veg cooked and roasted. Anyway so thought to celebrate a bit this not too handsome looking veg in my video – i wanted to serve it with a pan roasted piece of cod, puy lentils and the jus. This was the moment when Murphy came and ‘reorganised’ my ideas and reboot my brain in the middle of the supermarket. Was no any pretty cod in the fish counter (usually i do buy my fish from my fish monger but they pretty far away and i had no time mehhh) but the skates were looking nice and fresh – and small what i loved and was perfect for my dish. My new dish what was forming in my head. No cod but i found some beautiful chestnuts – as christmas is coming and its very seasonal now. So celeriac + chestnut… + cheese yes! BANG it happened in my head .. with some croissant crumb i wanted to try… but that s already another dish. Lets get back to the surf and turf… so just got the skate and forgot the lentils… as i love (puy) lentils soooo much but i didnt want to buy pre cooked but also didnt want to spend an hour next to the stove – cooking them. I NEVER SPEND AND HOUR NEXT TO THE STOVE COOKING. nO wAY. Im not a slave. There is always a faster way. LOL. So i decided to get my other favourite – quinoa. OFFICIALLY SUPERFOOD. Quick and very easy to make – cook in 5-7 minutes and ready to eat. Great carbohydrate and packed with vitamin B, minerals and fibres. Just good for u. So good for me – mixed with some great fresh herbs (also from Chef Harry) and black olives (from a neighbour who realized doesnt like it).
But let me put the dish together. So i roasted the celeriac bulb in the oven whole – sitting on salt and covered with foil. Salt makes the moist coming out from the veg but it cant leave cause of the skin and foil so the celeriac will be steamed in its own water content. Which makes it ridiculously beautiful. Depending on the size, 1.5-2 hours on 180 degrees will do. Easy to peel. So at this moment i ve decided to cut out a pretty cube from the bulb to my second celeriac dish with the cheese and chestnuts. I kept it and used the rest to make a rustic mash for my fish and quinoa salad.
About cooking the fish. Skate wings. I dont like it but u might find it easier to cover the fish in flour before put it in the hot pan. Easier to get a crust out from a layer of flour than the pure skin of the fish (i just dont keep flour in my kitchen ?). So maybe u can try that also. But get a big non stick pan (not like my flatmates Sam’s grandma’s pan) and also good to have a wide palette knife on hand to flip the fish over. If u keep bothering your fish in your pan you will make sure u tear that crusty layer into pieces as the flesh of the fish. Will be ugly. U dont touch it at least for 4minutes. U will see on the edges as it becomes golden. Then gently turn over. Now u can finish cooking the fish in the oven if u just throw your pan 5 minutes 180 degrees in, or do like i do, piece of butter and covered with a lid. Because the width of the fish is not the same everywhere* – u need to check the fattiest parts with your probe – like my muffin cake probe skewer LOL – if it runs through it smoothly its ready to eat.
*footnote: u can avoid shaping the fish with scissors if u dont want to. Personally i love its natural shape and i love to respect it – but as u ve seen my pan was faaaar too small and i didnt want to show u how ‘not to cook and burn’ your skate wing at first time. The edges literally having no meat on it and it turn black very quick. But its up to u again.
A word about the JUS. So jus is basically meat juice. I never expect u to make yourself if u are a homecook as it takes days to do and lots of hassle. I mean maybe i would suggest u to try to make it once in your life – only for learning experience, this is one of the very basic french sauces. Good to learn and after u will appreciate every single dot on your plate having a meal in any restaurant. For that u need to get animal bones in, then (for dark sauce) roast them with vegetables and tomato puree than put everything in a big pot and cover with water and cook it like a soup. Reduce it. More. More. Refresh with herbs and spicies and keep reducing. Strain and reduce. At the end u can flavour with anything, more herbs or wine… and when it has reduced enough, sticky and shiny now ready to use. U need very little amount – rest can be stored in the freezer. Or walk down the supermarket (gourmet delicatessen) and buy a bag of meat stock and season and reduce as u wish.
Well. Thats my surf and turf. Its interesting and i even show u how to eat rays at the very end of the video. Very clean, no mess. Keep eating.