This luscious dish is deceptively simple: skate stuffed with duxelles, a mixture of mushrooms and shallots, served alongside creamed spinach. More Seafood Recipes
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for 10 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a kitchen towel and rub them together to remove the skins. Transfer the hazelnuts to a work surface; coarsely chop.
In a medium skillet, cook the shallots and garlic in 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderately low heat until softened, 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and thyme. Reserve 1/3 of the mixture. In a food processor, puree the remaining mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut each skate wing in half crosswise and season with salt and pepper. Spread 4 of the skate pieces with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter and top with one-quarter of the mushroom puree. Cover with the remaining skate wing, pressing the packets together.
In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the skate packets and cook over high heat until browned and crisp on the bottom, 4 minutes. Flip the packets, lower the heat to moderate and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the reserved mushroom mixture, the hazelnuts, diced lemon and lemon juice. Cook until the skate is just white throughout, 4 minutes. Transfer the skate to plates, and top with the mushrooms, nuts and lemon and serve.
The rich skate and mushrooms go particularly well with white Burgundies from the village of Meursault.