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Fried Polenta with Mushrooms

Serves 4

This recipe for fried polenta can be made in any amount so it is a good way to use leftover polenta. However, it is very quick and easy using freshly cooked polenta, as in the similar and related recipes, since you make the polenta the day before so it has time to firm up in the refrigerator. See the notes below for directions. Alternately, you can use store-bought cooked polenta that comes packaged in a cylinder shape.


To make the mushrooms, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with oregano and sauté until done, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Slice the polenta into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices. Heat the remaining butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the polenta slices and fry until lightly browned on both sides and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan. Top each slice with warm mushrooms and optional Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Variations: Make the mushrooms with olive oil instead of butter and add about 3/4 cup homemade tomato sauce. Fry the polenta in olive oil. In either case, the polenta can be lightly brushed with olive oil and baked, broiled or grilled instead of fried.

Notes: The polenta can be prepared up to three days ahead and refrigerated until use. It can be placed in a flat dish or a loaf pan. Leftover polenta works equally well if the original was thick rather than very soft.