Friday is Cape Cod Fish Share pickup day for the lower Cape. Each Friday afternoon I get my "share" of the week's catch at the pickup location on route 6A in Brewster.
This week, Share members got a supply of both cod and skate. Sure you've heard of cod. But skate? As in the ray family? Now that's different.
As familiar species recover from over fishing, commercial fisherman offer other fish we might otherwise never have considered.
Skate is uncommon, especially in the U.S. Only the wings are edible, and those are divided in half horizontally with cartilage which makes cleaning them quite a bother. The Cape Cod Fish Share took care of that for us. I brought home a neat package that at first glance, looked like any other species of fish.
But take a closer look. It would appear someone sliced perfect lines to form a fan.
That "someone" would be nature. This is what the powerful wings of a skate look like.
Each week, in advance of Friday pick up, the Fish Share emails to members an overview of the upcoming catch with recipes to try as well.
Of course we could saute any of the fish in some butter and lemon in the pan or on the grill, but on Cape Cod that gets a little old. With delicious fish swimming just a few miles from our homes, we appreciate something new.
So, to go along with my first meal of skate, I tried the Brazilian-inspired recipe, Moqueca de Arraia suggested by the Fish Share. It's a kind of fish stew served over rice and it was so delicious I wanted to share it with you.
Begin with 1.5 lbs fresh skate. Slice into strips.
And then cut the stips into bite size pieces.
Boil the skate pieces in a pot of water for 10 minutes. They will curl and appear extremely unappetizing.
Don't they look kind of like plastic pieces of toys?
Okay, that's better. When the skate cools to room temperature, marinate for 30 minutes in a mixture of juice from one lime, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro and 1 clove minced garlic. The skate will flake like crab meat as you stir occasionally.
Slice two tomatoes and one onion and in a small casserole dish, layer the tomato and onion and fish mixture. Repeat until all ingredients are used.
Finish with 1 cup of coconut milk. You can get this in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets. Trader Joes has it as well.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the mixture begins to brown and the onions are soft.
Serve over white rice and sprinkle with your favorite hot sauce.
I used Original Cholula hot sauce.
I will definitely make this again, and I won't even wait until I can get my hands on some skate, which might take awhile. I think you could make this with any white fish.
If you don't like cilantro try a different recipe. I don't recommend substituting the cilantro with parsley or you'll get something entirely different. The cilantro is what makes this dish special.
Thank you to the Cape Cod Fish Share for introducing me to something new for my dinner table.
I can't wait to see what you catch for us next week.