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Dan Dunn is a talented Chef and an avid surfer. In an interview I had with Chef Dunn, he said that early on he became a chef because the late night hours allowed him time to surf during the day. “Dano” as he affectionately is know by many, is the Executive Chef of H2O on Pensacola Beach, located in the Hilton. Chef Dunn’s food style is Asian-Cajun inspired, and the recipe he shares below reflects this well. In a season so full of blessings, with such a great return of tourism to our local beaches and businesses, the most memorable event this year for Chef Dunn was cooking at the James Beard House in New York City. He was chosen to showcase Gulf Coast Cuisine alongside local Pensacola celebrity chefs Irv Miller, Jim Shirley, Gus Silivos and Frank Taylor. Chef Dunn said “it was the pinnacle of my cooking career.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. Flounder
  • 1 tbsp. blackened spice
  • 2 lemons (sliced thin)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups grits
  • 1/2 oz. red pepper
  • 3 stalks green onion
  • 1/2 cup Tasso, diced
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

Asian Vegetable Sauté:

  • 2 oz. baby bok choy
  • 2 oz. carrots
  • 1 dozen snow peas
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 6 to 8 broccoli florets
  • 7 oz. shitake

Preparation:

Slice all vegetables into julienne strips and lightly sauté in butter or olive oil.

For grits:

  1. Dice pepper, onion and Tasso.
  2. Begin boiling water for the grits.
  3. Add a little heavy cream and salt to the water once it begins to boil.
  4. Add grits and let simmer for around 12 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of ingredients, pour into a cookie pan and let cool.
  6. When cool, stamp out round cakes – your choice in size.
  7. Place grit cakes in hot cast iron skillet.
  8. Brown both sides, about 8 minutes each side, and finish in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

For flounder:

  1. Heat skillet to medium high.
  2. Layer one side with lemons and spice and place this side down first.
  3. Cook on both sides for around 5 minutes.
  4. Finish in the oven for 5 minutes.

For sauce:

  • 1 lime, quartered, squeezed
  • sliced jalapenos
  • chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of soy sauce

Serve fish with cake and vegetables and drizzle with the sauce.

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