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A Simple Guide to Sautéing

Tue, Feb 18, 2020 at 8:40AM

A Simple Guide to Sautéing

From the gentle sizzle to the mouthwatering aroma, there’s something special about sautéed foods—but how do you achieve the perfect sauté? And what makes this such a powerful culinary go-to? Just read on as we learn more and dig in!

From ballet to sauté

The art of the sauté is familiar to both ballerinas and culinary aficionados. Why? Though the term usually refers to the practice of cooking on relatively high heat with a small amount of fat, it actually comes from the French word for “jump,” or a type of dance move. Look a little closer as you sauté, and you’ll see your garlic or onions almost jumping or dancing themselves! Sautéing sees a constant frenzy of movement as your food buzzes around the sizzling oil or fat. Visually, this subtle movement is a good way to tell that your sauté is well underway. (You’ll also know your sauté is almost ready when you smell its aroma really wafting from the pan, inviting anyone in the house to come an investigate what’s for dinner.)

The big benefits of sautéing

What makes sautéing such a special culinary go-to? For starters, it’s a relatively speedy cooking process, allowing you to bring out the fullest flavors from your garlic, onions and other goodies without cooking the freshness away. From a health perspective, it also helps you retain as many nutrients as possible from your produce (whereas longer processes, like boiling or roasting, can cause greater amounts of nutrient loss). Just be sure to opt for a healthy fat and use a sparing amount to let the sauté work its magic—remember, unlike frying, you need just a bit of oil to achieve that effortless aroma and fresh texture.

How to achieve the perfect sizzle

Wondering how to achieve sizzling success at home? Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind!

  • Cut your food into small, uniform pieces so that they can cook quickly. That’s what sautéing is all about!
  • Avoid overcrowding your sauté pan. Each individual piece of food needs contact with the fat and heat of the pan to achieve the right flavor and texture.
  • Start slow. Of course, sautéing is all about speed and high heat—but you don’t want to get your pan so hot, so fast that it burns your garlic, onions or tender veggies. You’ll know a successful sauté when you smell it—a pleasant aroma that draws you in with its inviting warmth.

Peach Valley’s sautéed favorites

Craving some sautéed inspiration? We’re here to help! You will find sautéed goodness in Peach Valley dishes like our…

  • Sequoia Burger, whose sautéed mushrooms lend a flavorful, caramelized touch to this medley of choice ground sirloin, red onions, hardwood smoked bacon and melted provolone cheese.
  • Blackened Chicken Pasta, where sautéed fresh asparagus adds delicious color to this creamy comfort food favorite. Alongside char-grilled blackened chicken breast, baby spinach and tomatoes, this is a dish you’re sure to savor.

The art of sautéing is an essential tool for any chef or foodie! Try your hand at this kitchen staple, or find inspiration in your favorite Peach Valley picks—and be sure to stay tuned as we share more must-know methods for your kitchen repertoire!

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