Tian of skate and crab with chilled cucumber and mint veloute


West: The Cookbook

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 16 cups court bouillon
  • 4 Dungeness crab, about (2 lbs)
  • 4 tsp mayonnaise
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1 oz fresh chives, finely chopped (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 wing of skate, (1 lb)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 English cucumber, quartered, seeded and sliced into thin ribbons on a mandolin but with trimmings reserved
  • ½ oz onion, finely chopped (about 1 heaping Tbsp)
  • ½ oz fresh mint
  • Deep-fried parsley for garnish

How to Make It
  1. Skate is a kite-shaped fish also known as a ray and is related to sharks. The dense, meaty texture of the skate contrasts well with the flaky consistency of the crab in this dish.
  2. In a large pot, bring court bouillon to a boil. Add crab and cook for r 2 minutes, then remove the pot from heat and allow the crab to cool in the bouillon. Reserve the boullion. Pick the crab meat from the shell: first, twist off the legs and claws and set them aside. To remove the back, hold the base of the crab with one hand and pull the shell away from the body with the other hand. Discard the soft gills and the intestine, which runs down the centre of the back. Spoon out the soft brown meat, also known as crab butter or viscera, and reserve. Gently rinse the crab shell and crack it into four piecesdoing this will allow you easier access to the white meat in the corners of the shell. Pick out all of the crab's white meat-from the legs, claws and rest of the body. Set aside four leg pieces for the garnish.
  3. Pass the brown meat through a fine sieve into a small bowl and fold in 2 tsp of the mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper and half of the lemon juice. In another small bowl, combine the white meat, the remaining 2 tsp of mayonnaise and chives. Season with salt and pepper and the rest of the lemon juice. Refrigerate both bowls of crab meat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Season the skate wing with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick saute pan on high heat. Add r Tbsp of the olive oil, then place the skate wing in the pan and sear for r minute. Add butter and allow it to brown, about 3 minutes, then turn the skate wing over and roast in the oven until it is cooked through, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove the skate wing from the pan and place it on a cutting board. Remove the flesh from the cartilage with a thin, sharp knife.
  6. Grease a piece of parchment paper cut to 14 inches x 8 inches. Lay theskate wing, roasted side down, on the parchment to form a rectangle about 12 inches x 4 inches. Spoon the white crab meat mixture lengthwise down the centre, then fold the sides of the skate over the crab, tucking in the ends to form a roll. Wrap the roll first in aluminum foil to preserve the shape, then in plastic wrap to hold it. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  7. Finely cut the cucumber trimmings. In a medium saute pan, heat the remaining 1 T bsp of olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and sweat until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add cucumber trimmings and enough court bouillon to half cover, about Yz cup. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour this mixture into a blender, add mint and blend until smooth. Pass this veloute through a sieve and season with salt and pepper. Chill over ice.

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