Another good recipe to take to those pot lucks that crop up this time of year or just a new addition to your family meals is the following dish with  polenta.

If you can find organic polenta milled here in Alabama by McEwan and Sons, all the better. If not, just find a package in your local store and use that. Follow the directions on the package to make 4 cups of hot polenta.
Serve this with a meat of choice and a crisp salad and a vegetable. I think you will get rave reviews from everyone lucky enough to eat it!

4 cups hot polenta
2&1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 small bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
16 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry red or white wine
2 cups crushed tomatoes in puree
1 cup grated cheese of your choice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Lightly oil a 9 x 11 inch baking dish and have a sheet pan of same size oiled and nearby. Preheat oven to 400 F.
Pour half of the hot polenta into the prepared dish and pour the remainder onto the sheet pan. Using a spatula, spread it out evenly so it will fit the baking dish. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until onion is lightly browned. Add herbs and garlic and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Raise the heat to medium high and add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sautee for about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it is completely reduced. Then add the tomato puree. Simmer for 5 minutes and taste for seasonings. Adjust as needed.
Spread half of the mushroom mixture over the polenta in the baking dish. Cover with half of the cheeses and then cover with the second layer of polenta. (to make it easier you can cut the polenta into 1/4 then add to the tomato, mushroom mixture.) Cover with the remaining sauce and cheeses.
Bake until the casserole is bubbling and hot throughout, about 25 minutes.


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