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Minute Meals

June 22, 1995|BEV BENNETT

During the summer when you don't care to establish residence in the kitchen, turn your refrigerator into your source for meals in minutes. A well-stocked refrigerator will get you through most food occasions, from an impromptu meal with a friend to a robust snack after a day of sailing.

The base for minute meals is an edible surface--either a pizza crust, plain focaccia or a substantial pita bread. Even the most mundane ingredients come together marvelously when spread on a crust and warmed in the oven or on the grill. For example, you probably keep bacon on hand. Fry up a few strips and crumble them over a prepared focaccia. Add green onions, walnuts and feta cheese. The taste combination is sensational: sweet, salty and buttery.

As recently as five years ago, you probably had to grow your own basil for pesto, the pungent sauce with the taste of summer herbs. Now you can find it in most grocery stores. Keep a jar on hand to spread over a crust. Heat and eat plain or add tomatoes and mozzarella.

Granted, portobello mushrooms as wide as your fist may not be a refrigerator staple. But if you usually keep button mushrooms on hand, trade them in for the meatier version. Saute mushroom slices in olive oil, add anchovies, mozzarella and rosemary for a savory, hearty entree.

MUSHROOM, ANCHOVY AND ROSEMARY FOCACCIA

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium portobello mushroom

1 (6- to 7-inch) plain focaccia or pizza crust

6 anchovy strips

1/4 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary

2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese

Heat oil in medium skillet. Cut mushroom into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Saute in hot oil until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Place on focaccia. Arrange anchovy strips on top. Sprinkle with rosemary. Sprinkle on cheese.

Place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until cheese melts and bread is hot, 6 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 2 servings.

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