Vinaigrette: Combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the ginger, lemongrass and shallots in a large sauce pot over medium heat, and cook, stirring until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the vegetable stock with the ginger, lemongrass and shallot trimmings in a sauce pot over medium heat (the scraps will infuse the stock with even more flavor). When the sauteed vegetables are ready, strain the stock into the pot, then add the fish sauce, hot pepper sauce, soy sauce, thyme, lime juice, balsamic vinegar and peppercorns to the pot. Bring the liquid to a very low simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the remaining olive oil. Remove the pot from the burner and set aside until cool. You may store the vinaigrette in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Skate: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Slice the tops and bottoms from the turnips and peel away the outer skin. Using the julienne blade on a mandolin (or a very sharp knife), julienne the turnip, slicing it into very thin, match-stick size pieces. Set aside.
Spread the almonds on a non-stick sheet pan, and toast in the middle of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until you can just begin to smell them toasting. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the almonds to a plate or bowl. Set aside.
Place a large, non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. As it warms, brush the skate on 1 side with the softened butter. Season with salt and pepper, and add the skate to the hot pan, buttered-side down. Season again with salt and pepper. Let the skate sear without moving it, so the fish forms a crispy brown crust. When well browned, turn the skate and brown on the other side.
While the skate is searing, warm another medium-sized saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, swirl to coat the bottom, and add the turnips and snow peas to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing frequently so that the vegetables cook evenly until crisp-tender. After 30 seconds, add the snow pea shoots. Toss, add the almonds, and remove from heat and mound in the center of 4 warm dinner plates. Top each with 1 piece of skate. Mix the vinaigrette well and ladle over the top of the fish, scattering the dressing and seasonings over the flesh. Serve.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Rick Moonen, Oceana, New York, NY