Perfect Pan-Fried Mushrooms

When I learned to pan-fry mushrooms the Julia Child way, which I assume is the French way, I was a wee bit sad thinking back on all those soft, rubbery mushrooms I’d proudly cooked over the years.

Take it from Julia, if you want to experience a pan-seared mushroom in all of its intended glory, DON’T crowd the ‘shrooms. Piling them on top of each other renders them soft and lifeless. They need space to brown evenly, which helps them reach a deep, rich, meaty flavor.

Here’s how to do it…

Slice your mushrooms to desired thickness.

Melt a tablespoon of butter (or oil) in a pan on medium high.

Add the mushrooms. Give the guys some room. (You can position them closer than I have here — the main concern is that they’re not overlapping.)

Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip them over one by one. Add an additional half-tablespoon of butter if the pan looks dry. Let them cook for a few more minutes. Flip over again, if needed.

The mushrooms should be deeply brown on each side and crispy along their edges. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer them to a plate. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms.

I’ve served these as a first course nibble along with some roasted garlic aioli. They add a nice dimension of flavor to ho-hum weeknight pasta, and they’re terrific piled onto a steak or a burger, like our fave the 1956 burger. I use this technique for nearly every recipe that calls for cooked mushrooms, and you can bet I’ll be stirring them into my green bean casserole for Thanksgiving dinner.

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