Risotto with Wild Mushrooms

9-1/2 Tbsp butter, divided
4 oz dried wild mushrooms
(such as cèpe [porcini], hen of the woods, chanterelle mushrooms, or stemmed shiitake mushrooms); large mushrooms sliced, small mushrooms halved or quartered
10 Cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 Cup finely chopped leek
1-1/4 Cups arborio rice
1/4 Cup dry white wine
1/4 Cup dry white vermouth
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving (optional)
Fresh herbs for garnish

Using 3 Cups of the hot chicken stock, rehydrate the dried mushrooms, in agreement with packaged instructions. (Basic instructions here on the AllSpice website).

Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a heavy, large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add a quarter of the mushrooms and sprinkle the mixture with salt. Sauté the rehydrated mushrooms until they become tender and are beginning to brown, 3 to 4 min. Transfer sauteed mushrooms to a medium bowl.

Working in 3 more batches, repeat with a total of 6 more Tbsp butter, the remaining (and rehydrated) mushrooms, and salt and pepper.

Bring remaining 7 Cups of broth to simmer in a heavy medium saucepan; keep liquid warm. Melt the remaining 1-1/2 Tbsp butter with the olive oil in another heavy, large saucepan, on the stove over medium-low heat. Add the chopped leek, sprinkle with salt, and sauté leek in the olive oil-butter mixture until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add Arborio rice and increase heat under the pan to medium. Stir pan until edges of rice begin to look translucent, about 3 to 4 min. Add white wine and vermouth to rice and stir until liquid is absorbed, about 1 min. Add 3/4 cup warm chicken broth; stir until almost all broth is absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue adding broth by 3/4 Cup-fuls, stirring constantly until almost all the broth is absorbed before adding another 3/4 cup-ful, until the rice is halfway cooked, about 10 min altogether. Stir in the rehydrated, sautéed mushrooms.

Continue adding broth to the risotto by 3/4 cup-fuls, stirring each addition until almost all of the broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is tender — but still firm to bite — and risotto is creamy, about 10 min. Stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Transfer risotto to warmed serving bowl. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese alongside, if desired.

Serves 4 people