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Wisconsin Polenta Fontina “Paninis” with Mushroom

Ingredients:
2 T. unsalted butter, divided
1/3 c. minced shallots or onion
2 (4-oz.) packages sliced mixed exotic mushrooms or 1 (8-oz.)
package sliced crimini or button mushrooms (4 c.)
1 T. chopped fresh thyme (or 1 t. dried)
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 c. shredded Wisconsin fontina cheese, divided
1/4 c. chopped well-drained sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 (16-oz.) tube polenta or flavored polenta, cut into 16 slices

Instructions:
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper; cook and stir 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup cheese and tomatoes. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter on large nonstick griddle or in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until melted and bubbly. Arrange 8 slices polenta on griddle; top with cheese mixture and remaining 8 slices polenta. Cook 3 minutes. Carefully turn over; continue cooking 3 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.

Transfer paninis to 4 serving plates; top with mushroom sauce and remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

2/15/2006