Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham, NC
1 tablespoon toasted, ground fennel seed
1 tablespoon toasted, ground coriander seed
1 tablespoon dried, ground lemon peel
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups fine polenta (or fine cornmeal)
1 cup Caputo 00 flour (or mix ½ cup flour and ½ cup fine cornmeal)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup canned or frozen creamed corn
¼ teaspoon Texas Pete hot sauce
1 medium yellow onion, grated
Canola oil for frying
8 tablespoons honey
Whisk together fennel and coriander seeds, lemon peel, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together polenta, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, creamed corn, hot sauce, and onion. Add creamed mixture to dry ingredients and stir together; let sit for 10 minutes.
Heat 2 inches of oil in a 6-quart dutch oven over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375 degrees. Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a ¾-inch diameter round tip. Working in batches, pipe and cut 3-inch logs of batter into oil; fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Toss with fennel spice mixture, place on warmed plate, and drizzle with honey.