It’s too hot for the oven and you’re too late for the crock pot. What to do? You could pull out that ages-old microwaveable bag of frozen vegetables, but that wouldn’t be any fun to eat. Sautéing your dinner sounds like the best solution tonight! Sauté means “to jump” in the French language. While it refers to the high heat with which your dinner is cooking, it’s a good reminder that we need to jump to it right now and get this party—I mean, food—started right.
Sautéed recipes are easy, fun, easy, delicious, and easy. Did we mention they’re easy? That’s a chief advantage of this cooking method and a good first technique for novice cooks to master. All you need is a good pan, a pair of tongs and this web page to get started. Pans should be thick enough to evenly spread the heat and large enough to cook all the ingredients. A wide variety of foods—ranging from meat to fish to vegetables—can be prepared through this method.
So, let’s say you’re in the mood for some veggies tonight. There are some great, healthy recipes where some or all of the ingredients are sautéed. Try our Autumn Beet Salad, which includes whole beets, mushrooms and chevre cheese. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, another veggie favorite is our Squash Blossom Quesadillas, a new take on Mexican faire featuring a mix of squash blossoms, poblano pepper, onions, garlic and cilantro.
If you’ve been out on the high seas all day and have a hankering for seafood, sautéing is an excellent and easy way to prepare fish. Seafood lovers will immediately be drawn to our Orange Glazed Salmon, whose secret is a blend of soy sauce, orange juice and sesame oil. Or perhaps an easy meal with a wonderful presentation, our Trout with Bacon, is more suited for tonight’s entrée. It kind of tastes like chicken.
Well, no, it doesn’t. If you want something that tastes like chicken come on over here and try one of our many chicken recipes. We recommend our Chicken Braised with Wine which utilizes red wine and a tablespoon of brandy, or our Lemony Chicken Breasts.
We know what you’re asking. All this talk of recipes, but where’s the beef? We’re not forgetting you, beef lovers of the world. Try our delectable take on a classic, Balsamic Fillet Mignon for a real treat, or plan on Skirt Steak with Red Wine Butter Sauce, a hearty meal seasoned with a Shiraz or Zinfandel wine that cooks in just 20 minutes.
When you’ve made your decision, bookmark this web page. Trust us; you’ll be back for more real soon.
Sauteing – or cooking food quickly in a pan with a little fat – is one of the most commonly employed cooking techniques. It’s easy to saute food, but a certain amount of care must be taken to caramelize (brown the natural sugar in the food) rather than dry out, the food.
Preparing the Food
In order to cook thoroughly without drying or burning, food ready to saute must be cut into small pieces – bite sized or smaller. Cut meat, fish, and poultry into thin pieces. Tender vegetables, like mushrooms or snow peas, don’t require cutting, but tougher vegetables, like carrots or celery, should be cut thinly before going into the pan. The same is true for fruits. Grains, like beans, rice, and pasta, can also be sauteed, but they should be thoroughly cooked beforehand.
Use a flat-bottomed, shallow skillet or pan. It should be large enough that all the food being cooked can move around easily. Preheat the skillet over medium heat. When it is quite hot, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil or butter. (Failing to fully preheat the skillet can lead to food sticking to the pan.) Once the fat ripples, add food to the skillet. Let it brown for 2 or 3 minutes, then turn each piece over with a spatula so it can brown on another side. Continue like this until the food is cooked through.
Many meat recipes call for deglazing after sauteing. This is an easy way to make use of the cooking liquid - and turn out a scrumptious meal.
When the meat is done sauteing, move it to dishes or a platter. If you like, keep the meat warm in a 200 degree F. oven. If there’s more than 1 or 2 tablespoons of fat left in the saute pan, pour some out. Add liquid to the pan (usually about ? cup of wine or stock) and turn the heat to high. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon; don’t worry if there are bits of burned food. Those bits will make the sauce even better. Reduce the liquid (let it dissolve through boiling) until it starts thickening. Remove the pan from the stove and pour the sauce over the meat.
Beef Fillet with Red Wine and Rabbit Fillet with Lentils are classic recipes using the saute technique. Dirty Dish from Susan’s Garden features sauteed artichokes and Roasted Apples with Green Apple Sauce and features sauteed apples.
Want to see a different cooking technique, or recipes for a specific diet choice? See all the gourmet recipes and recipe videos at GourmetRecipe.com.
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