Well, I cooked the skate wing tonight, and it was a success! Even though the skate at the market looked as though it just wanted to jump into my boat and bite me, I brought the skate wing home, and conquered it. The recipe, for that handful who actually want to know, is very easy.
The hardest thing is taking the skin off the side that has not been skinned by the fishmonger. I think I need one of those super sharp knives that just slips under the skin and peels it off. Anyway, after fifteen minutes of effort with Susie helping, I got it off. Then:
1. Salt the skate wing and dredge it in flour.
2. Melt a big gunk of butter in a hot pan [the recipe says two tablespoons, but I always exaggerate] and fry the skate wings on both sides for maybe three or four minutes a side. Then take them out of the pan, pop them in a warming oven on a plate, and add even more butter to the frying pan they came out of, along with "half a cup of white wine" [i.e., maybe a cup]. Cook the butter and wine, getting up the tasty bits with a spatula, until the alcohol burns off and the butter is brown. Pour it over the skate, and serve.
Dead easy, assuming your local supermarket carries skate wings.
I served it with thinly sliced sauteed zucchini, but you can serve it with anything.
What is it like? A meaty, mild white fish, very pleasant, and of course wonderful with all that butter.