Joseph de Vilmorin is one of the best (home) cooks I know. Whether in Corsica or in Brussels, where he lives with his family, he always invents the most beautiful dishes. His soupe de poisson is a major event which takes all day to make after he goes fishing early in the morning. His cheese soufflés are huge and delicious, his omelette with ceps and whatever meat stew he decides to cook are so good that you know you will devour it. So when he volunteered his recipe of skate with raspberries, I was a bit surprised. It is much more “modern” than usual.
He says he discovered it in Audierne, Brittany, at the restaurant “Le Grand Large” which is famous for its skates. And he has been reproducing it at home for a few years. Before I give you the recipe you have to understand that he spent his childhood learning from one of the greatest food critics of the after war period in France, Mapie. The oldest sister of Louise de Vilmorin, Marie Pierre de Toulouse Lautrec wrote recipes for Femina and Elle magazine and was the French Julia Child at the time. A book of her recipes “La cuisine de Mapie” came out in 1961 and can now be downloaded for free.
So let’s say, Joseph inherited part of her talent and of his father’s, André de Vilmorin, who published in 1984, “La Cuisine sans façons” with many easy recipes.
For two, you need two wings of skate, raspberry vinegar, one shallot, and 300 g of raspberries, 20 g of butter and a glass of white wine. Take the two peeled wings of skate and put them in a pan for five minutes wth no fat, with the shallots thinly cut, salt and pepper. Turn them over delicately with two spatulas (trust me this is the hard part), and cook for another 4 mins. Add the glass of white wine and two spoons of raspberry vinegar. Reduce for 4 mins. In a separate pan throw 20 g of butter, the raspberries and a spoon of raspberry vinegar. Pour the sauce over the skate and serve. You can use frozen raspberries if you like.
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