Ray Wings with a spiced beurre noisette

Cooked this for a dinner party in my own rather different take on ‘surf’n’turf’ – the other half was veal sweetbreads coated in sage flour, shallow fried in olive oil and coated at the last minute with a Madeira glaze.

2 large wings of ray, each cut in half

500 ml court bouillon (light stock from onions, celery, carrots, sprig of thyme, seasoning)

for the spiced beurre noisette

1 tsp Sichuan peppers

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped very fine

juice of a lime

1 tsp flour

60g butter

3 tbsp of the court bouillon in which the ray has been cooked

Pre-heat oven to 180 degs C.

Grind the seeds and the ginger in a pestle and mortar. Bring the court bouillon to the boil. Place the ray wings carefully in the pan and cook for 12-15 minutes. Remove and keep warm in oven.

Put just a spot of olive oil in a small pan and fry the spices for a couple of minutes. Add the  flour and a tsp of the butter and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until the ingredients amalgamate and the mixture changes colour to a light brown. Add the stock and the lime juice and cook for another minute. Reserve. Whisk in the rest of the butter just before serving and cook only until the butter turns brown. Plate up the ray and spoon some of the butter over each portion.

Note: You sometimes see ‘skate or ray with black butter’ . This is a misnomer; it’s a plain beurre noisette. It should be brown, not black. Butter cooked to black tastes horrible.