TILEFISH WITH SPINACH AND CELERY ROOT PURÉE

TILEFISH, WHICH SWIM THE ATLANTIC FROM NOVA SCOTIA TO FLORIDA, IS A WHITE-FLESHED FISH WITH A TEXTURE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN COD AND STRIPED BASS.  MY FAVORITE METHOD OF COOKING FISH IS TO START IT SKIN SIDE DOWN TO CRISP THE SKIN, THEN TURN IT OVER, ADD A HUNK OF BUTTER, REDUCE THE HEAT AND COVER, BASTING TILL IT’S DONE.  THE FISH COMES OUT CRIPS ON TOP, BUT WITH A TEXTURE MORE TENDER THAN STRAIGHT PAN-FRYING.  IN THIS RECIPE, THE FINISHED FILLETS ARE SET ON TOP OF BARELY COOKED SPINACH AND SURROUNDED BY A PURÉE OF CELERY ROOT, WHICH WHEN POACHED IN MILK, HAS A NUTTY SWEETNESS WITHOUT THE STARCHINESS OF MASHED POTATOES.  IN FACT, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE BUTTER, THIS MAY BE A GREAT LOW-CALORIE BREAK FROM THE EXCESSES OF THE HOLIDAYS.
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