When you sauté, you are cooking a food with a small amount of fat at a high heat. The food is sautéd in a pan that is very hot, and the food develops a brown color from the oils.
Difficulty to learn: Medium/Hard
Some Thoughts For You:
Sautéing is a simple idea with a slightly steep learning curve. What a proper sauté accomplishes is the locking in of moisture and flavor into the food, which can provide a more distinct flavor than traditional cooking methods.
Typical foods to sauté include meats (such as lamb) and vegetables (such as onions).
What You Will Need:
Your main tool for sautéing will be a large shallow pan (or a skillet). It should be large enough to fit your food as well as a little oil or butter. If your pan is small, your food will not evenly brown.
You will need a little oil or butter to act as the catalyst for the sauté. The best oils for a sauté have a high smoke point, such as peanut oil or canola oil.
Consider using protective gloves since you will be working with oil at a very high heat.
The following steps apply for sautéing tender foods, such as beans or onions.
- Grab your pan and begin heating it without any oil or food in it.
- Make sure your food is cut into relatively small pieces. Large pieces will take longer to saute, and have the potential of being under cooked.
- Add a little oil to the pan, just enough to coat it. Too much oil will impede the sautéing process.
- Add your food. You should hear a sizzle as the food contacts the oil.
- Stir the food occasionally, keeping an eye on the pan. Your food should not take more than 5-8 minutes to entirely sauté. Your food will have a light brown color around it.
- Carefully scoop out your food. You can put it on a paper towel if you want to soak out any excess oil.
Tips For You:
- Do not use olive oil to sauté. It has a low smoke point and will backfire on you.
- Sautéing works best on tender foods, since this preparation method locks in flavors and moisture.
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