Cornmeal Dusted NC Flounder

Presented by Chef Eric Litaker, Dogwood Southern Table & Bar

Blistered tomato/roasted fennel, Carolina gold rice grits, citrus-sorghum reduction

Start with high quality grits from Anson Mills or another reputable source.  Cook rice grits in stock and small amount of heavy cream.  Cook until grits are done and to your desired texture.  Do not make overly creamy so that they will hold the vegetables and fish on top when plating.  
To make the sauce/reduction.  Take 4 parts orange juice and 2 parts sorghum molasses and mix in saucepan.  Cook on medium heat until liquid has reduced to a syrup consistency.
Slice fennel bulb into ¼” pieces.  In a hot skillet with light amount of oil start fennel.  Saute long enough to start to caramelize the fennel.  Add cherry tomatoes and saute just long enough to char and blister the outside.
Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper.  Lightly dredge flounder or trout (we buy as much as possible from NC vendors like Sunburst Farms in Waynesville, NC) in a medium grit cornmeal.  Put fish back into your cooler enough to allow crust to stick. 
Pan fry fish on both sides until golden in color.  Use skillet on medium-high heat to prevent fish from burning before achieving desired color and doneness.
To plate – heat grits then place in the center of the plate.  Add fennel and tomato on top of grits.  Lastly add the fillet of fish to the top.  Finish with drizzle of sorghum reduction.  Careful not to go to heavily on the sauce. 
We recommend enjoying a glass of two of wine during cooking as well as eating.