Refers to cooking food quickly in a skillet using a little oil or butter over high heat.
The point behind sauteing foods is simple - sear the food quickly to prevent loss of juices and flavor, then cook until tender. This is usually done in an open pan over very high heat, which must be maintained throughout the cooking process.
- Clarified butter produces the best results, but butter and oil in a 3:1 ratio works as well.
- The pan and butter must be hot enough to sear the food immediately. A quick test is to toss a drop of water into the pan. If it sizzles and evaporates immediately, your pan is ready.
- Never use cold food, as this will decrease the temperature of the pan, and cause steam. Steam will prevent the food from searing and cause juices to come out. Food should be at room temperature.
- Don't overcrowd your pan. This will also produce steam.
- You can also coat the food with flour or bread crumbs before sauteing. This will ensure that the food remains dry and steam does not form.
- Keep the food in constant motion from the second you add it. This will prevent it from browning too quickly and sticking to the pan. However, too much turning will stop it from cooking as quickly. The key is a good balance between the two.
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