Diary of a Foodie

Skate with Grape and Cherry Tomato Compote

Diary of a Foodie: Season Two: The Anglers

  • Active time:35 min
  • Start to finish:35 min
March 2008

For compote

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb Muscat or Thompson grapes, halved, then seeded if necessary
  • 1/4 cup packed mint leaves

For skate

  • 3/4 cup Wondra flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 (6-oz) pieces skate fillet
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar (at least 10 years old)

Make compote:

  • Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until beginning to crack and break down, 3 to 4 minutes. Add grapes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to shrink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with mint leaves.

Make skate:

  • Stir together flour, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Put milk in another shallow bowl. Dip skate in milk, then dredge in flour mixture to coat, shaking off excess.
  • Heat oil in a cleaned skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then add butter and heat until foam subsides. Working in 2 batches, cook skate until undersides are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn fish over with 2 spatulas and cook until golden brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve skate with drizzled with balsamic vinegar and with compote on the side.
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