Tonight's tale of woe...I went to make this contest recipe:
and when I opened the stockpot in which my skate had been cooking, I caught a whiff of ammonia. Further sniffing confirmed this (and sort of torched my sinuses...). First time this has ever happened to me (I'm so embarrassed, this has never happened to me before, maybe I just had too much to drink...), and I tossed it, but want to know if any really knowledgeable picklers can add to my store of knowledge on this. Some (I googled and found some discussion on chowhound, but who am I going to trust? Some anonymous poster on Chowhound or my fellow picklers??) simply dismiss it as 'fish gone off', but from what I've been able to find, it actually has to do with their not being processed properly after catching? Same issue with sharks, apparently. Saw one suggestion that soaking in either an acid or in baking soda before cooking can solve this. But presumably one of those answers is wrong since soda is alkaline? Also saw some folks (usually the ones who said it was just off) suggesting that skate is highly fragile/perishable, which actually, from my farmer market days, I don't think is true. We had a fisherman who would sometimes come to market and when he had fresh-caught skate he would tell me that I should keep it in the fridge for a few days before cooking or it would be too tough. What say ye? It's too late for this dinner (we had pizza delivered, how lame is that?), but I do love skate and want to try that recipe!
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