2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms (look for these in produce department at the grocery store)
1 quart mushroom broth or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry sherry
4 sprigs fresh thyme (2 tablespoons), leaves chopped
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (3 handfuls), grated
Coarse salt and pepper
Place dried porcini mushrooms and stock or broth in a saucepan and bring stock to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer. In a large skillet, heat EVOO, one turn of the pan, and butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add arborio rice and sauté 2-3 minutes more. Add sherry and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed. Add several ladles of hot stock or broth and reduce heat slightly. Simmer, stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed. Remove mushrooms from water and reserve cooking liquid. Coarsely chop the porcinis and add them to the rice. Continue to ladle broth into arborio rice, half the remaining amount at a time. Stir mixture each time you add broth and remove from heat when the rice is cooked to al dente. Cool and store any remaining liquids.
The ideal total cooking time for perfect risotto is 22 minutes. The consistency should be creamy. Stir in thyme and a few handfuls of Parmigiano Reggiano. Season your risotto with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve creamy mushroom risotto from the hot pan with warm, crusty whole grain bread.