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Polenta Fontina "Paninis" with Mushroom Sauce

Polenta Fontina 'Paninis' with Mushroom SauceThese fried mini polenta 'sandwiches' are filled with a fontina cheese and sun-dried tomato mixture and served with a thyme-seasoned wild mushroom and shallot sauce.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter - divided use
1/3 cup minced shallots or onion
2 (4-ounce) packages sliced mixed exotic mushrooms or 1 (8-ounce) package sliced cremini or button mushrooms (4 cups total)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Wisconsin Fontina Cheese - divided use
1/4 cup chopped well drained sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 (16-ounce) tube polenta or flavored polenta, cut crosswise into 16 (1/3-inch) slices

Cooking Directions:

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and ground black pepper; cook and stir 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Set aside; keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup of the cheese and tomatoes.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter on a large nonstick griddle or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until melted and bubbly.
  4. Arrange 8 slices polenta in skillet; top with cheese mixture and remaining 8 slices polenta. Cook 3 minutes. Carefully turn; continue cooking 3 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.
  5. Transfer paninis to four serving plates; top with warm mushroom sauce and remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.