YIELD: 24 appetizer, 8-10 entrée
For the Polenta:
8 cups water
2 tsps. salt
2 tsps. black pepper
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 cups polenta
¼ cup roasted red peppers, well dried and diced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbsps. butter
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
For the Mushrooms:
1 Tbsp. butter
4 cups (8-10 oz.) sliced fresh mushrooms (e.g. mixture of Portobello, cremini, shiitake)
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup parsley, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
10-12 thin slices (8 oz.) provolone cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F. For the polenta: In deep saucepan, bring water, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme to rolling boil. Add polenta in slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue stirring 5 minutes.
Add diced red pepper. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Parmesan, 2 Tbsps. butter and red pepper flakes. Stir well; set aside.
For the mushrooms: Melt butter in skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add heavy cream, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook at gentle boil until cream reduces and thickens, 10-15 minutes.
Butter 9×12 baking dish and spread half the polenta over bottom. Cover with half the slices of provolone, tearing slices to fit when necessary. Spread mushrooms over. Spread remaining polenta over and top with remaining provolone slices. Bake about 15 minutes or until cheese melts, browns slightly and casserole is hot. Let rest until the polenta sets and casserole can be cut into servings (it will be quite soft).
Photo and recipe: Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board