Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Polenta Fontina Panini with Mushroom Sauce

I won't bother with applicable chatter today. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I can't decide if I want to take a nap or cuss for no reason. It's still close to lunchtime here, so if I went out to my car to blurt obscenities, people might see me... and being the New Girl, I don't want to give anyone the wrong idea. Heh.

Two things that amuse me:

1. The syncopation of this recipe. Polenta-Fontina-Panini. Polenta-Fontina-Panini. (Reminds me a little of the zucchini-ricotta-frittata, actually.) Repeat it a few times and it loses its meaning, but I don't mind.

2. Totally unrelated - I had to take Squito (one of my cats) to the vet Monday. He had an awful looking limp and seemed pitiful. I got him to the vet, the vet had him walk around and the little fuzzy jerk didn't limp. He didn't even cry when the vet poked him. Dr. Z seemed to think my faker cat is fine, just old, maybe a pulled muscle, blah blah... and gave me a prescription of chondroitin for him. CHONDROITIN!!! I love that! I love that my noisy fat furball gets to be treated like an old man and have joint medicine mixed into his food. Is that weird? Maybe. But whatever. I like it, so it stays. Soon he'll be asking me to pull his finger.

Recipe notes: We had this way back in November, so the details are a little fuzzy. I know I liked it and thought it was easy. I want to say that Dave didn't love it but didn't hate it (he's only so-so on sun-dried tomatoes and they're featured prominently in this). I know I enjoyed the messy little stacks in made, too. I think it was a really nice healthy vegetarian dinner, but I can see how the addition of some Italian sausage might make it spectacular.

Polenta Fontina Panini with Mushroom Sauce
c/o The Washington Post Food Section
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/recipes/2007/11/07/polenta-fontina-paninis-mushroom-sauce/

2 to 3 small shallots
1 tablespoon thyme leaves (may substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 18-ounce roll cooked polenta (ends trimmed)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 pound sliced mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake and button
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese

Mince the shallots and the thyme leaves. Cut the polenta crosswise in half, then cut each half into quarters, then cut each of those quarters in half, making 16 equal slices total; set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until they have softened. Add the sliced mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper; cook for 5 minutes, stirring, or until the mushrooms are tender and have exuded liquid. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting; keep warm.

Meanwhile, finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and combine with the shredded fontina cheese.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter on a large nonstick griddle over medium heat until the butter is bubbly. Arrange 8 polenta slices on the griddle and sprinkle them with the tomato-cheese mixture, using most of it. Top with the remaining 8 polenta slices to form sandwiches. Cook for 3 minutes, then carefully turn over the sandwiches and cook for 3 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the polenta has deepened in color. (For an optional panini effect, place a second pan or heavy pot on the sandwiches to press them.) Turn off the heat; sprinkle the remaining tomato-cheese mixture on top of the 8 sandwiches so that it melts slightly and let sit for 1 minute; transfer to individual plates (2 sandwiches per serving) and top with the mushroom mixture. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source:
Adapted from "The Great Big Butter Cookbook," edited by Diana von Glahn (Running Press, 2007).

290 calories, 16g fat, 9g saturated fat, 48mg cholesterol, 505mg sodium, 26g carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, 11g protein.

1 comment:

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