Fill a deep-fryer with oil and leave to heat to the correct temperature. Meanwhile, take the dry ingredients for the batter and whisk in a bowl for a few seconds to mix them. Add all the beer and whisk it in, starting from the inside and working outwards. Make sure there are no lumps and leave the batter to sit for 15 minutes.
For the aïoli, put the egg yolks and white, salt, lime juice, garlic, mustard and smoked paprika into a small food processer and purée for 1 minute. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil (don’t use extra virgin), making sure it is absorbed and the aïoli doesn’t separate. If it does separate, transfer
Lightly dust the skate wings with flour and dip them, one by one, in the batter. Hold them above the batter and let the excess drip back into the mixture, then place them carefully into the deep-fryer. Cook only as many as can easily fit into your fryer at one time – if you overcrowd it the temperature will drop and the batter will not crisp. They should take 2—3 minutes to cook. Drain on absorbent paper and serve with a crisp, simple salad, such as wild rocket or watercress, and plain boiled new potatoes. Serve the aïoli and some fresh limes on the side.
© 1997 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.