Pan-Fried Snapper with Buttery Parsnip Puree
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
"The fishmonger is our friend," says Mary Ellen Carroll. She means that literally: Her friend Michael Isabell, who films her Itinerant Gastronomy projects, was a fishmonger. For the ICA dinner, Isabell suggested using a seasonal fish caught off Cape Cod that day. Any meaty, flaky white fish, like red snapper, sea bass or cod, would work.
- 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
- Kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Eight 6-ounce flaky white fish fillets with skin, such as red snapper, sea bass or cod
- Freshly ground pepper
- Balsamic-Glazed Red Onions, for serving
- In a large saucepan, cover the parsnips with cold water. Add a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer the parsnips over moderate heat until very tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the parsnips well, reserving 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid.
- In a food processor, pulse the parsnips until coarsely chopped. Add the reserved cooking liquid and 2 tablespoons of the butter and season with salt; process until smooth. Return the parsnip puree to the saucepan and keep warm.
- Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper, then dredge them in the flour; tap to remove any excess flour. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in each of 2 large nonstick skillets. Add 4 fillets to each skillet, skin side down. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Spoon the parsnip puree onto warmed plates. Top with the fish fillets, skin side up, and serve with the Balsamic-Glazed Red Onions.
A blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Picolit from Italy's Friuli region is versatile enough to pair well with both this delicate fish and the buttery parsnip puree.