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Cornmeal-Crusted Flounder

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  1. 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch squares
  3. 1 1/4 pounds medium asparagus
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 cup buttermilk
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  8. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  9. Four 6- to 8-ounce flounder fillets
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Spread the olive oil on a large rimmed baking sheet and heat the sheet in the oven, for 1 minute. Scatter the pancetta on the baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, or until sizzling. Add the asparagus and roll them in the fat until coated. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper and bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned and just tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, beat the buttermilk with the eggs. In another shallow bowl, mix the yellow cornmeal with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Dip each flounder fillet in the buttermilk mixture, let the excess drip off then carefully coat the fillet in the cornmeal. Fry the flounder over moderate heat until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the fillets to paper towels to drain, then transfer to plates. Serve the flounder with the asparagus and pancetta.

Suggested Pairing

Tart, herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc.

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