Learn to sauté as well as a celebrity chef, part two

Sautéing like a pro takes three things: the right equipment, great ingredients (including Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil) and proper technique. Part one explained how to choose the best tools. Now learn how to prepare a delicious and healthy meal!

Assemble your ingredients

Oil or butter? While you might be tempted to use butter, it has a lower smoking point of 350° F and will burn much easier during the sauté process. Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil will give your food a nice crust without the risk of getting a burnt taste. You can also blend it with a small amount of butter if you want that buttery flavor in your sauté.

Pick a protein. Sauté ingredients are only in the pan for a short time so choose something that’s naturally tender. Chicken breasts, beef tenderloin and fish fillets are more suited to this technique than other proteins such as pork shoulder or brisket.

Gather your veggies. Be colorful! Remember people eat with their eyes, so use vegetables to make your meal visually appealing. Asparagus, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, bell peppers and baby artichokes are ideal for this cooking style.

Line up your seasonings. Add extra flavor to your dish using your favorite herbs and spices.

Cut all ingredients to approximately the same size (one inch is a good standard) to promote even cooking.

Prepare the sauté pan

Preheat your sauté pan over medium-high heat before adding anything to it. Overlooking this step and placing cold ingredients in a cold pan will cause your meat to become dry. You will know your pan is hot enough to use when you sprinkle several drops of water over it which readily evaporate. Only then should you add Carotino to the pan.

Use only enough to coat the bottom of the pan. “If you find you need more oil in the pan when sautéing, add it in a stream along the edges of the pan so that by the time the oil reaches the ingredient being cooked, it will be heated,” recommends award-winning chef Anita Lo, who owns and oversees New York City’s restaurant Annisa.

The correct sauté technique

It is time to begin sautéing when the oil you’re using goes from smooth to shimmering or lined. Add your ingredients (presentation side down), but be sure that you do not allow it to begin smoking. If this happens, remove the pan from the stove briefly and turn down the heat.

Foods release steam as they heat, so don’t overcrowd your ingredients or they will begin to steam rather than sauté. You may need to cook large meals in batches. Turn the ingredients frequently (but not constantly) when they are bite-sized, and only after they have reached their proper color when they are larger. If you are sautéing portion sizes, wait to turn them until after they have formed a nice crust. The cooking time will vary depending on what is in your pan. Use your recipe as a guideline. In some cases, you might want to use a meat thermometer.

Sautéing is a cooking method that is easy to learn and ideal for those days when you just don’t have a lot of time. It is also much healthier because your meal will retain more nutrients without adding unnecessary calories. Plus, sautéing is an easy way to use seasonal ingredients add variety to your menu!