Friday, February 13, 2009

Skate Wing in Rock Shrimp Caper Sauce with Blood Orange Brussels Sprouts

INGREDIENTS (serves two--we also had roasted root vegetables tossed in butter and thyme):

(for the beer)
Brooklyn Winter Ale

(for the fish)
1 skate wing (about 3/4 to 1 pound)
Poaching liquid to cover: about 3 cups of fish stock, with seafood boil herbs added. Our mix includes mustard seed, dill seed, ginger, chili pepper, bay leaf, clove, allspice, celery seed, cinnamon and black peppercorn.

1) Bring liquid to a simmer and poach the fish, about 10-12 minutes; it's done when the flesh is opaque and begins to flake apart easily.
2) Divide skate wing in halves and plate.

(for the sauce)
1 1/2 cups fish stock
splash of white wine
1 oz. capers, minced
4 springs fresh parsley, minced
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 lb. rock shrimp
Salt and pepper

1) Simmer and reduce the fish stock, butter, capers, and white wine to a little over half a cup of liquid.
2) Incorporate the heavy cream and return to a simmer. Season with salt and fresh pepper.
3) Add the rock shrimp and cook until just pink; when they're pink, remove from heat.
4) Stir in fresh parsley and pour over the divided skate wing.

(for the Brussels sprouts)
1 lb. baby Brussels sprouts
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup brandy
Juice of 3 blood oranges, some flesh reserved
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
Salt and fresh black pepper

1) Pour blood orange juice, honey and balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pot and simmer for about 20 minutes to reduce into a thick, delicious glaze. Depending on your balsamic, you may need to add more sweetener, as balsamics vary widely.
2) When the glaze is almost ready, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high and add Brussels sprouts. As the outer leaves brown, add the brandy and scrape the bits off the pan. They'll be done in about 5-7 minutes--taste them to prevent overcooking.
3) Season to taste and toss with the glaze.
4) Open Brooklyn Winter Ale
5) Serve together

We went with the Brooklyn Winter Ale for this one--can't beat $7.99 for a sixer at Whole Foods, at least not in New York. Even though Garrett Oliver is ridiculously dismissive and tends to "get his tweed undies in a twist," (source of quote shall remain nameless for his protection) over beers that are not to his liking, e.g. hoppy west-coast beers, he can still brew a mean beverage.

Okay, we weren't too wowed by this one on its own, but it did do a wonderful thing when combined with the dinner: it made them both better. The malt-forward sweetness and laid back hops played well on the tongue with the sweetness from the rock shrimp, roasted veg and the glaze of the brussel sprouts. I like me a little hops with something bold like brussel sprouts, and there was just enough bitter presence to hold up on that end as well.

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