Ray escalopes with fennel salad

Serves 4

I do love the texture and flavour of ray, which is often lazily sold as skate, which is unfortunately not a sustainable member of the ray family.

When you are buying ray, it's a good idea to always make a point of asking your fishmonger what species it is and while you're at it, ask him to remove the skin from the fish and fillet it, both of which he should be very capable of doing.

The fillets from two 400-500g ray wings, skinned
Flour for dusting
1 large egg, beaten
40-50g fresh white breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or corn oil for frying

To serve

A handful of small salad leaves, washed
1 small fennel bulb, quartered and finely sliced

For the dressing

2tbsp rapeseed oil
½tbsp cider vinegar
1tsp Dijon or Tewkesbury mustard

Have three dishes ready, one with the seasoned flour, one with the beaten egg and the third with the breadcrumbs. Pass the ray fillets through the flour, dusting off any excess, then through the egg and finally the breadcrumbs.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy frying pan and cook the fillets for a couple of minutes on each side, adding a knob of butter to the pan when you turn them over.

Meanwhile, mix the oil and vinegar together for the dressing and toss with the salad leaves and fennel. Arrange on serving plates with the ray escalopes.E

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