Lulu's Wild Mushroom Risotto Cakes

Photo Credit: Reed Davis

Makes about 70 miniature cakes

Mushrooms: 4 cups dried wild mushrooms, such as porcini, shiitake and morel 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup peeled, thinly sliced shallots 2 cloves garlic, peeled 6 cups chicken stock 2 cups dry red wine 2 cups dry white wine 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons white pepper

Soak dried mushrooms in water overnight. Drain thoroughly before cooking. Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until caramelized, about 3 to 5 minutes. Taste; if mixture is bitter, add pinch or two of sugar. Add mushrooms and all remaining ingredients to shallot mixture and bring to boil. Boil 10 minutes, then strain through fine sieve, reserving liquid. Remove thyme sprigs from solids. Transfer solids to food processor and pulse to chop; set aside. Pour reserved mushroom liquid into large pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer to keep warm.

Risotto: 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ cup chopped yellow onion 3 cups Arborio rice reserved mushroom liquid from previous step reserved chopped mushrooms from previous step 1 stick unsalted butter, softened 3 tablespoons dry vermouth 1 cup grated Parmesan, Asiago or fontina cheese, or combination 1 tablespoon truffle oil

In large, heavy saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and stir 2 to 3 minutes until grains are completely coated with oil. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in 2 cups warm reserved mushroom liquid.

Using wooden spoon, stir mixture continuously, being careful to scrape up all rice from bottom of saucepan. When liquid has been absorbed, repeat previous step, adding 2 cups mushroom liquid. Continue with remaining mushroom stock until rice is soft and all liquid is absorbed. If reserved liquid runs out before rice reaches desired consistency, use hot water in small amounts. About 5 minutes before risotto is done, add reserved chopped mushrooms, butter and vermouth. Stir to combine. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in cheese and truffle oil. Spread risotto into even, thin layer on rimmed baking sheet. Set aside to cool.

To Finish: Heat oven to 450°. Form risotto into small cakes, and place on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with Silpat. Bake cakes until they start to become crisp, about 15 minutes.

To Serve: ½ cup sour cream chopped chives

Garnish each risotto cake with small dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle chives over tops. Serve immediately.