This idea is based very loosely on a dish of sweetbreads in a cream sauce flavored with pearl onions, bacon, and fresh thyme that
Fry bacon over medium-low heat until brown and crisp in 1 very large or 2 smaller skillets. Drain on paper towels, reserving rendered fat in pan.
Mix paprika, thyme, salt, and plenty of pepper into cornmeal. Dip sand dabs in half-and-half or milk, then dredge thoroughly in cornmeal. Fry in batches in bacon fat over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
Divide sand dabs evenly between 6 warm plates, place 1 slice butter in the center of each fillet, crumble bacon evenly over fish, and scatter with scallions.
© 1992 Colman Andrews. All rights reserved.