Over the next blogs, I will explain 11 methods of cookery that chefs regularly use.
Sautéing, Grilling, Roasting, Baking, Deep-frying, Boiling, Steaming, Microwave, Sous Vide, Braising, Poaching.
Sautéing (also known as Pan-fry, Shallow-fry, Searing, Stir-fry)
Cooked or browned in pan containing small quantity of butter, oil or other fat.
Whether you use gas or electricity/induction, the same rules apply. The main thing to remember when sautéing is investing in a good quality frypan/saucepan. This should have a very heavy bottom & sides (this will assist in even transfer of heat). Le Creuset Signature 30cm weights almost 3kg. It is up to you if you want non-stick, I prefer Cast Iron or Stainless Steel with an oven proof handle. They can range from $100-$400. Also use a good quality oil. For me the best is extra virgin olive oil as it is unrefined but is only suitable for low to medium temperature cooking. For high temperatures use olive oil, clarified butter/ghee, duck fat, canola or coconut oil, but in moderation (around 20-30mls). The fry pan is the vessel for controlling the direct heat/flame and the oil the lubricant between the heat and the food.
Sauté is to cook with colour & sweat is to cook without colour. When sautéing you need to control the heat. Too high and the food burns, too low and you braise the food and lose most of the juices. Always get the frypan hot (lightly smoking for cooking with colour) and then add the oil. Once the food is in the pan, don’t shake or move the food until it needs turning. If the play around with the food, you lose the heat and it will stick. Once the food is coloured on all sides and if it still needs more cooking, finish in a 200c oven to allow the food to cook evenly.
If I am cooking a dinner party, maybe eye fillet of beef, I will have this pre sautéed brown and sitting in the fridge so when my guests arrive, all I need to do is finish the steak in a hot oven.
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