In a medium size saucepan bring 4 cups water to a boil and put in 1 cup polenta corn meal. Stir. Turn the heat down to low and continue cooking and stirring for about 4 to 5 min. until thick. Add Parmesan cheese, butter and a dash of salt. Stir well.
Lightly brush olive oil on the bottom of a Jelly Roll pan 17 x 11. Pour the hot polenta out onto baking sheet and even it out with a spoon. Let it sit on the counter until the steam goes away. When the steam is gone place the polenta in the refrigerator for 15 min. or until it is firm.
Use a 2½ inch biscuit cutter to cut polenta into shapes. (I use a round biscuit cutter). Freeze any leftovers in a plastic bag.
In a large frying pan or a grill pan, fry 4 pieces of polenta at a time in 1½ Tablespoons olive oil. Sauté on both sides until warmed through. Continue frying adding more olive oil as needed. Set aside on a plate. Cover and keep warm. While the polenta is sautéing make the mushroom sauce:
In a pan over medium heat, using a little olive oil to sauté garlic, celery, leek, shallot (optional) and mushrooms until the leeks are soft. Add white wine or apple juice, bouillon, Parmesan and heavy cream. Simmer slowly until thickened. Sprinkle with coarse salt & fresh ground black pepper.
Arrange two polenta pieces on each plate. Pour on the mushroom sauce. Serve immediately.
Serve with: French Baguettes page 242 or Sourdough Bread, Arugula salad, Roasted Beets page 229.