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Spanish Crunch Crumb Topping

Top baked fish, sauteed vegetables or cheesy oven casseroles with this topping for a welcome jolt of flavor. Any bread crumbs with a rough texture will do, but panko, Japanese-style grated crumbs, are recommended. Look for them at supermarket fish counters.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 to 2 slices bacon, cooked and diced
2 tablespoons white wine
1/4 cup bread crumbs (such as panko)
1 teaspoon pimenton
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the minced onion, garlic and bacon until onion is softened. Add the wine, stir and reduce by half. Add crumbs and stir. Add pimenton, salt and pepper and mix until well blended.

To use: Spoon the seasoned crumbs over fish steaks; bake at 400 degrees until the fish is done, about 10 minutes; sprinkle over cooked vegetables before serving; top creamy oven-dishes before baking according to recipe directions. Enough crumbs for 2 to 4 servings.

Thursday, March 16, 2000

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