All Easy Recipes. Cook all that you can cook. Baked Fish With Spinach Stuffing
(Poisson Farci a la Florentine)
What You Need:            (To serve 6 to 8)
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  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or scallions
  • cup finely chopped, cooked fresh spinach, squeezed dry and firmly packed (about pound), or 1 ten-ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed completely dry
  • 2 cups fresh white bread crumbs made in the blender from homemade-type bread (about 6 slices)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • teaspoon lemon juice
  • teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4- to 5-pound whole red snapper (or pollack, lake trout, cod, rockfish, whitefish, salmon, mackerel), cleaned and scaled, with the backbone removed but the head and tail left on
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • Watercress sprigs, decoratively cut lemons

  • How To Cook:
    1. SPINACH STUFFING: Using a heavy 6- to 8-inch stainless-steel or enameled skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat and in it cook the shallots for 2 minutes, or until they are soft but not brown. Add the spinach and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, for 2 or 3 minutes to evaporate most of the moisture.

    2. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the bread crumbs, cream, lemon juice, salt and a few grindings of pepper, and gently toss them all together. Season with more lemon juice, salt or pepper if needed.

    3. BAKINGT THE FISH: Preheat the oven to 400. Wash the fish inside and out under running water, and dry it thoroughly with paper towels. Fill the fish with the stuffing, close the opening with small skewers, and crisscross kitchen string as you would lace a turkey.

    4. Brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter on the bottom of a shallow baking-and-serving dish large enough to hold the fish. (If you prefer to serve the fish from a platter, line the dish with a long piece of foil oiled or buttered on both sides to make it easy to handle later.)

    5. Place the fish in the dish, brush the top with another 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and salt and pepper it. Combine the rest of the melted butter with the wine and pour it around the fish.

    6. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove, then bake uncovered on the middle shelf of the oven, basting the fish every 5 to 7 minutes with the juices that will accumulatein the pan. If the wine evaporates, add up to cup more as needed. In 40 to 50 minutes the fish should be just firm when pressed lightly with a finger.

    7. Remove the pan from the oven and, if the fish will be served from the baking dish, use a bulb baster to transfer the juices to a small pan. If the fish will be served from a platter, carefully lift the foil and fish from the baking dish, using the long ends of foil as handles.

    8. Gently slide the fish from the foil to the platter. Then pour the juices into a small pan. Boil the juices down over high heat until they are syrupy.

    9. Remove from the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of soft butter, and pour the sauce over the fish. Serve the fish alone or with beurre blanc or hollandaise sauce.Garnish it with watercress and decoratively cut lemons.

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