Melt 1/2 Tbsp butter into olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook until the onion is softened.
Add the rice and stir well to coat with the butter/olive oil mixture. Cook until the rice starts to become translucent, then add vermouth/wine and stir. Add thyme and red pepper flakes, and continue cooking until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Add one cup of water and again allow to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally. Continue adding the remaining water a cup or so at a time, allowing the liquid to cook into the risotto as described above.
Once the risotto is al dente, turn off the heat and gently stir in the remaining butter and the cream/milk until the risotto is creamy. Sprinkle on grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
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