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To pan-fry, first dry the meat pieces with kitchen paper so that they brown properly and to prevent spitting during cooking. If required, the meat can be coated in seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs, or a batter. Heat oil or a mixture of oil and butter in a heavy frying pan (skillet). When the oil is very hot, add the meat pieces, skin-side down for poultry. Fry until deep golden brown all over. Turn the pieces frequently when cooking poultry. For meats, turn only once. Note that poultry breast usually cooks before the drumsticks and thighs. Drain well on kitchen paper before serving.
Stir-frying Pieces of meat or skinless, boneless poultry or fish are cut into small pieces of equal size, either strips, small cubes or thin slices. This ensures that the meat cooks evenly and stays succulent. Preheat a wok or saucepan before adding a small amount of high-smoking point oil (see the The Skinny on Fat article). When the oil starts to smoke, add the meat or poultry pieces and stir-fry with your chosen flavorings for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Other ingredients can be cooked at the same time, or the meat can be cooked by itself, then removed from the pan while you stir-fry the remaining ingredients. Return the meat to the pan briefly when the other ingredients are cooked. Sauteeing This method is ideal for smaller, thinner pieces of meat, firm fleshed fish, or small birds such as baby chickens. It can be combined with braising (see below), when the meat is first sauteed then cooked in stock or other liquid. Heat a little oil or a mixture of oil and butter in a heavy frying pan (skillet). Add the meat and fry over a moderate heat until golden brown, turning often during cooking to brown allover. Add stock or other liquid, bring to the boil, then cover and reduce the heat. Cook gently until the meat is cooked through.
Casseroling (Pot Roasting) Casseroling is a method that is good for cooking larger pieces of meat or poultry, and is particularly good for "pot roasts". The slow cooking produces tender meat with a good flavor. Brown the meat in butter or hot oil or a mixture of both. Add some stock, wine or a mixture of both with seasonings and herbs. Cover and cook on top of the stove or in the oven at 325 to 350 degrees until the meat is tender (this could take quite a few hours for a large beef blade or shoulder roast). Add a selection of vegetables 40 to 60 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Braising This method does not require liquid, and is used for tender cuts of meat, firm fleshed fish, or poultry pieces. Heat some oil in an ovenproof, flameproof casserole and gently fry the meat until golden all over. Remove the meat and fry a selection of vegetables until they are almost tender. Replace the meat. Cover tightly and cook very gently on the top of the stove or in a low oven (325 degrees) until the meat and vegetables are tender.
Poaching Poaching Is a gentle cooking method that produces tender poultry and fish, and a stock that can be used to make a sauce to serve along with them. Put a large poultry or fish pieces, a bouquet garnis or other spices of your liking, a leek, a carrot, and an onion in a large flameproof casserole. Cover with water, season and bring to the boil.
After searing the meat. Braising is often used as a way to cook less expensive. you will be pleased with the results. Yet another plus of cooking with this method is that the meat tastes great and you also get delicious broth. They work well too. You can braise in a crock pot.Cover and simmer until tender. pressure cooker. Some popular dishes you may have heard of that use a braising technique are osso buco. there are other reasons to cook this way. you can go about cooking other things. Whether you choose to use the oven or the top of the stove. a Dutch oven. large saute pan or the most often used cooking vessel for braises. The end result is tender and flavorful. pot roast. What Is Braising? Braising is a cooking technique in which the main ingredient is seared. Lift the poultry or fish out. discard the bouquet garni if using. LeCrueset makes a range of enameled pots and pans that are good for either the stove or the oven. Once the heat is reduced. or browned in fat. tough cuts of meat. It’s one pot cooking at it’s finest. do some chores or take a break. the remainder of the cooking time (until sauce/gravy preparation) does not require much attention. and then simmered in liquid on low heat in a covered pot. and use the stock to make a sauce. Other than great taste and economy. sauce or gravy. This method of cooking is great for tough cuts of meat but also works well with chicken. There isn’t much to cleaning up and anything leftover can be reheated or frozen and reheated for later. pressure cooker or Dutch oven. fish and/or vegetables. braised veal & lamb shanks and . The best equipment to use would be a crock pot. This is also a plus when entertaining: you have more time for your guests. The vegetables can be blended to thicken the stock and served with the poultry or fish.
(6) Cover and place the meat on the middle of a rack in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (5) Add cooking liquid (water. stock.braised cabbage. depending on what you are cooking. . (3) Saute meat or vegetables in the pan on medium-high heat until the meat browns. (8) Remove the pan from the oven and strain the meat and vegetables out of the liquid. (4) Deglace the pan by pouring broth. wine or juice and scrape any pieces of meat that are stuck to the pan and stir. 9 Simple Steps to Great Braised Meat There are 9 basic steps to braising meat: (1) Season the main ingredient with salt and pepper. stock. You can braise just about any meat. juice or some combination) to the half-way point of the main ingredient. but there are some ingredients that are better for braising and some you want to cook using other techniques like grilling or roasting. wine. fish or vegetable you want and be as creative as you like with seasoning. (2) Heat a few tablespoons of oil and/or butter in a heavy pan or Dutch oven. (7) Cook until completely tender. This can range from 1 hour to 6 hours.
leathery meat tender. Without getting to specific. the meat that we eat is muscle and made up of muscle fibers and connective tissue. The connective tissue is the thin. The Science of Braising? If you’re curious about how cooking in this fashion makes tough. Heat also contracts and coils the muscle fibers. Or. and then reduce the sauce to desired thickness by cooking it down over low heat until it thickens. moist and covered over low heat for a lengthy time. The long and short of this is that everything becomes very tender. the moisture and heat build and the collagen dissolves into gelatin. As for the vegetables. these fibers expel moisture and the meat becomes dry. it’s done by cooking the meat slow. these fibers relax and absorb the melted fat and melted gelatin. This process breaks down the tough connective tissue in meat to collagen. braising breaks down the cellulose in them and stretches the starches. The muscle fibers are the long thin strands we can actually see and think of as meat. translucent film that you sometimes ask the butcher to remove and helps hold the bundles of muscle fiber . Through time. Over time.(9) Remove the excess fat floating in the liquid. Given even more time. make gravy by adding a mix of equal parts fat and flour (a roux).
Some good cuts of meat for braising include: Top Blade Roast . And this is why braised meat tastes so incredible when cooked properly. With more time and heat. In effect. you end up with very tender but very dry meat. Connective tissue is made up of mostly collagen. The meat is already tender and has little fat or connective tissue.together. What happening to the muscle fiber while this connective tissue is breaking down (collagen is melting)? The fibers start to contract. the collagen breaks down and dissolves into gelatin. a very strong protein that breaks down if enough heat is applied to it. to break down the collagen into gelatin. the muscle fibers have had enough and they begin to relax. And don't forget you have all this wonderful liquid made up of melted fat. What Ingredients Are Best For Braising? Meat When it comes to meats. When this happens. the heat is drying out the meat like squeezing a sponge. The good news is at some point. less tender cuts that come from an animals more exercised muscles. So braising meat is about breaking down tough connective tissue and changing it into collagen by applying moist heat for a period of time depending on what you are cooking. gelatin and whatever cooking liquid you started with. they begin to absorb back some of the moisture which just happens to be the melted fat and gelatin giving the meat a wonderful texture and flavor. It takes a temperature of about 140 degrees F. you want to stick with the tougher. These cuts tend to have more connective tissue that breaks down making the meat tender and flavorful. As the process continues and the meat breaks down. A lean cut from the loin area is a waste to braise. coil and expel moisture.
cabbage and onions are great braised alone or along with meat and chicken. Fruits & Vegetables Again you want to stay with the hardier varieties. I like to braise meat with firm pears and apples but in the summer. You are better off sauteing or grill them. In the fall and winter. leeks. skinless chicken breasts. beets. I think large. I might braise chicken with pineapple. Squash. are the legs and thighs although lots of people like to raise a whole chicken.Chuck Eye Roast Seven Bone Roast Ribs Brisket Shanks Short Ribs Chicken The best cuts of chicken. There's really no reason to braise boneless. firm fish are the way to go. sweet potatoes. parsnips. If you do braise a more tender cut like flounder. be sure to shorten the braising time.the science is the same expect the moist heat breaks down the vegetable's cellulose and expands its starches. Fish Although you can braise just about any fish you like. Shark. You also want to be sure to use chicken on the bone with skin so you get all the fat and connective tissue. carrots. Braised Vegetables . swordfish are worthy of a braise but tender filets like tilapia or even cod will just fall apart on you. in my opinion. The .
When we think of the term “baking” we are generally talking about cakes. breads. let’s take a minute to look at baking. We will discuss oven roasting of meat and vegetables in the Roasting section. You might want to wait until the last hour or two of cooking to add them so that they aren’t over cooked. That’s all well and good. When braising meats with vegetables. in depth. Definition of Baking Baking is defined as cooking food in an oven using dry heat.fibers soften giving the vegetables an incredible texture and flavor depending on the cooking liquid you are using. but since baking is one of the primary ways in which we cook food. and pastries. . you may want to keep in mind that the vegetables will cook much quicker than the meat.
Cooking is primarily done through means of radiant heat. of the home. Other ovens of the ancient world include clay and even mud ovens. as well. and later. Preheating a conventional oven first heats the air in the oven and then the metal box itself. literally and figuratively. Conventional ovens consist of a metal box with several racks and upper and lower thermostatically controlled heating elements of some sort (gas or electric). comes from the Italian word for hearth. cakes are baked with radiant heat from the oven itself. such as the Dutch oven. Notice that it is the same root as the word “focus. or on a hearth. Convection ovens are similar to conventional ovens. or focus. Heat is transferred from the walls of the oven to the food through the air in the oven. This is why baked goods are generally darker at the edges where they meet the pan: the food is being cooked through two heat transfer processes at once. Rome and Greece. Egypt. in the 1600’s. including Babylon.History of Baking Baking was originally accomplished in the coals of a fire. cast metal ovens. Regular . most home bakers will have access to a conventional oven. and heat is also conducted from the cake pan (which of course has heated up) directly to the batter. Although brick and clay ovens are still in wide use all over the world as well as in America. The Italian peasant bread. From the earliest. Conduction is the transfer of heat through direct contact. focaccia. the center. For example. Types of Ovens Several free-standing brick ovens have been uncovered in the ruins of Pompeii. but they also have a fan inside that creates an air current inside the oven.” The hearth was. unleavened breads from the Middle East and the Americas to risen breads to elaborate cakes and pastries. Some conduction occurs. a convection oven and/or a microwave oven. history leaves us record of baking in many ancient civilizations.
your baking times will be shorter.convection ovens have a fan that blows air. . Seriously. convection ovens speed the cooking process. but they are very useful and efficient when it comes to reheating foods. there are baked potatoes and oven roasted potatoes. but true convection ovens also have a third heating element. baking or roasting. No I have that confused with something else. Microwave ovens can heat quickly. Microwave ovens send energy into food in the form of waves that excite “lopsided” molecules. In general. To make matters even more confusing. Roasting The age old question of which came first. You have baked clams but roasted bruschetta. so the fan blows heated air. located right behind the fan. but since water boils at 212 degrees. If you have a convection oven. I wrote a blog called Baked or Roasted . food will never get hot enough to brown. People want to know why we bake bread but roast chicken since they are both essentially the same dry heat cooking method. I get asked what's the difference between baking and roasting all the time. unless they were developed using a convection oven. namely: water. and you will most likely have to set the thermostat anywhere from 25 to 50 degrees lower than your recipes call for. For that reason. To help clear this up. Many of these methods outline the manner in which fats are incorporated into the batter or dough. We’ll discuss methods for making bread dough elsewhere. harnessing radiant heat energy. Mixing Methods: Since we have pretty well established that baking starts with dough or a batter. most home cooks eschew the microwave for cooking. conductive heat energy as well as convective heat energy. let us take a moment to examine the different methods we have for making a batter or dough. Baking V.You Decide that might help or may even confuse you more.
it is important to mix as little as possible while still getting the ingredients well combined.” like cake batter. and then add flour. If you add liquid first. eggs are added one at a time. as in cookie dough. The sharp edges of the sugar actually cut into the butter and create a bunch of little air pockets. In the creaming method. Beating the eggs in early allows even more air to be whipped in (think of meringue) in the initial mixing stages. helping the dough/batter to rise. The resultant batter can be very thick. resulting in a more tender final product. the more rise you will get. When adding the flour and liquid. Rarely does the creaming method produce a batter that is truly pourable. further inhibiting gluten production. Upon heating. it is very important that you do not skimp on the creaming of the fats/sugar/eggs. The less you mix. . fats are mixed with sugar to form a mixture that is either smooth and creamy (cookie dough) or light and fluffy (cakes). So why combine ingredients this way? The initial creaming of the fat with the sugar creates lots of little air bubbles (fewer for cookies. you will end up with a chewier final product since more gluten will be activated. followed by adding dry ingredients (flours + salt + spices + chemical leaveners) alternately with wet ingredients (milk/water + liquid flavorings). regardless of how much baking powder or baking soda you add to the batter. The more air pockets you have to begin with. or “spoonable.Creaming In the creaming method. many more for cakes). the air in the pockets expands. the less gluten is developed. Then. Adding flour before adding the liquid helps to coat the flour with fat.
until the fat is about the size of peas. This method allows some of the flour to be coated with fat. It is important to keep the fats very cold . as Alton Brown says. dry ingredients are combined (flour + sugar + salt + chemical leaveners + dry flavorings). Then. scones and many pie doughs. cold liquids are added (ice water/milk/buttermilk/cream).” think “fold. In the mixing method. don’t think “mix. This adds texture and leavening to the final product. it must be done correctly to be successful. It’s a pretty easy method. Since you’re not taking the extra step of coating the flour with fat. lard. shortening or a mixture) is cut into the dry ingredients) with either forks or another mechanical helper or by hand). Then. This folding shouldn’t take any longer than about ten to fifteen seconds.” You want to gently fold the ingredients together to make a batter. When incorporating the wet with the dry. scones. adding to tenderness while leaving enough fat in large pieces to melt during the baking process and create steam. “Just walk away. pancake and waffle batter and other quick breads.Muffin The muffin method is the method by which we make muffins. it is extra important that you mix gently so you don’t activate the gluten. chunks of cold. you want to get your batter into tins and into the oven (or on the griddle) relatively quickly so the chemical leavening can do its job. solid fat (butter. Lumps are okay in this method—they will settle out on their own. In the muffin method. Once the cold fat is cut in. all dry ingredients are combined (flour + salt + sugar + chemical leaveners + spices). All wet ingredients are combined (milk/water + liquid fats + eggs + liquid flavorings). the wet ingredients are poured onto the dry ingredients and gently mixed. Biscuit The biscuit method is the method used to make biscuits. even if it’s lumpy. but like many easy things.” In reality. Then.
more velvety crumb and have a very melting mouth feel. If the fats begin to soften before you are finished. Two-Stage The two stage mixing method was originally applied to high ratio cakes. Make sure that all dry ingredients are well mixed in the bowl. The batter will get light and fluffy. solid shortenings have fallen out of favor somewhat. Then. you will not get the same amount of air bubbles that you will with the creaming method. Batter made using this method is generally a bit thinner that batter made with the creaming method. is an effective method for creating a meltingly tender. the batter could also hold more sugar. The term high ratio refers to a high ratio of water to flour held together by the emulsifiers in the “new fangled” solid shortenings. and then add butter at cool room temperature plus the egg mixture. shape and bake. you mix all dry ingredients in the mixing bowl (flour + sugar + salt + chemical leaveners + dry spices). . Next. however. This helped to increase shelf life and moistness in cakes. since sugar dissolves in water. The twostage mixing method. Your final product will have a tighter. Mix on low to moisten all the ingredients. Since the emulsifiers could hold more water. Since we have become more health conscious about the effect of trans fats. add the rest of the milk in three additions. fine crumbed cake. mix the eggs with about ¼ of the liquid ingredients (milk/water + wet flavorings). Since dry + wet + eggs are mixed in at the same time. In the two-stage method. Once the liquid is incorporated.in this method. put your bowl in the freezer for a few minutes so they firm up. scraping the bowl and mixing for a few seconds between additions. and then beat on medium for a couple of minutes to develop the structure of the batter. mix minimally.
It all depends on the final texture you seek: tender. It is best to bake them immediately and let them cool in the pan upside down. There are also some “hybrid” mixing methods where eggs are separated. In this mixing method. as the structure of these cakes is very delicate until cool. Not all mixing methods are interchangeable. then the whites are beaten to medium peaks and folded in before baking. air bubbles created during creaming and air bubbles in the egg foam—and a drier end product. This creates a batter with extra lift—from chemical leaveners. light and dry or moist and velvety. angel food cake. creaming or muffin or even adapting a recipe with whole eggs to the hybrid method described above. Then. Read a recipe. the yolks are added according to the creaming method or the muffin method. Now that you know the major mixing methods. the world is your oyster. and meringue-type cookies. most (if not all) of the leavening comes from an extended beating of either egg whites or whole eggs with sugar. name the general mixing method. based on the instructions. Batter made with the egg foam method of mixing are generally very thick and light. the dry ingredients are gently folded in. and then use the method that you like best. but you can usually use choose between creaming or two-stage. You can take almost any cake recipe that calls for the creaming method and apply the two-stage method. and then adapt it how you see fit. . chewy.Egg Foam The egg foam method is the method we use for making genoise. Note the results.
(I’m not even sure they had gas barbecues back then. Both use direct heat. fish and vegetables.What is Grilling? First of all grilling is a lot like broiling. Although grilling is considered a healthy way of cooking because much of the fat will drip into the fire. Easy to control the heat and even easier to maintain. Both methods are great when cooking tender cuts of beef. Make sure whatever you are cooking isn’t too thick or it will burn on the exterior by the time the inside is done. When I was growing up my father (the self-appointed grill master) only used charcoal as a fuel source. be careful to avoid flareups from the fat. I’ve been told you can buy real lump charcoal with no additives and it makes a big difference. He also used the self-starting charcoal briquettes that gave the food a funky chemical taste. but I’ve never been able to find it so I opted for a gas grill. you can create a nasty fire hazard. I’ve even experimented with adding some pre-soaked chunks of Hickory wood to give an additional boost of flavor. but when grilling the heat source comes from below and when broiling the heat source is from above. the food never seared properly so the juices were released and the meat dried out. Result. .) He made the common mistake of not using enough charcoal at the start or replacing it when it burned down. chicken. Not only will you potentially burn what you are cooking and give it an acrid flavor.
If you wait until it’s time to start cooking. Preheat that grill 15 to 30 minutes before you intend to start cooking. Have all your cooking tools ready and standing by. Mistake. you may want to pre-cook it in the microwave or oven to cut down on cooking time and give you more control of browning. brush it or spray it with a little vegetable oil to prevent food from sticking. There’s nothing worse than grilling a beautiful Filet Mignon and having it taste like red snapper. Marinade Marinades are great for adding flavor to what you are grilling. but seasonings and basting sauces as well. And be sure to have a spray water bottle on hand in case of flare-ups.Clean Grill It’s critical you start with a clean grill. The time to remove all the residue with a wire brush is right after you finish cooking while the grate is still hot. With fish filets. Check your cookbooks for which marinades work best for your ingredients. It’s important you learn where they are and use them to your advantage. The longer you marinate the better. Remember to bring items to room temperature before grilling. Hot Grill It’s also vital that your grill is hot well before you start. This not only includes apron and utensils. This is especially important if you are using a sugary basting sauce. I like to place them in a zip lock bag with a little olive oil and herbs but you can also prepare a glaze to coat them just before grilling. Know thy Grill Every grill is different and will have different hot and cool spots. make sure . wait until right before we start cooking before we crank up the heat. especially with gas grills. some of the scrapings can fall into the flames and cause a flare-up. Prepping ingredients If you’re grilling up a steak you may want to cut off any excess fat and season with a little salt before you start. However with chicken. Many of us. It’s best to marinate overnight in the refrigerator and if you are going to use it for basting. Before you begin heating the grill.
the essential ingredients are: tomatoes. the meat will continue to cook once you remove it from the grill to rest.often secret. vinegar. marinades.. How Long Do You Cook It? I guess the most frequent questions I’m asked are "how long do you cook it for?" and "how can you tell when it’s done?" Although every cookbook you pick up has guidelines for each ingredient. Also be sure to pat dry the meat.. Barbecue sauce is used to baste what you are grilling and although commercial barbecue sauces are a big business. Check out my Grilling Tools for a few examples. tools. onion. And if you like gadgets. I would suggest you follow your favorite cookbook guides to grilling but start touching the foods at different intervals to get a feel for firmness and texture.. then turning it 90 degrees and cooking for another 2 1/2 minutes. or fish before grilling so the marinade doesn’t cause flare-ups. I start by grilling for 2 1/2 minutes. you'll love grilling since there are a plethora of great tools to enhance your grilling experience. it once again comes back to experience and touch. For example. as a general rule. At the same time I test the steak with my finger to feel for various degrees of firmness. mustard. So experiment and create your own special sauce. and brown sugar. Grilling Tools Everyone seems to have their own favorite grilling techniques.you boil it first to kill any bacteria that may be present. chicken. 115 – 120 degrees is rare. so you may want to remove it before hitting your target temperature so you don't overcook it. For steak. . I like to cook a 1 1/2-inch New York Strip steak for a total of ten minutes. Don't forget. Medium cooked feels like touching your cheek. you can use an instant thermometer. flip the steak over to it’s other side and repeat the process thus giving the steak the classic grill marks. 125-130 degrees is medium rare and 135 – 140 degrees is medium. family recipes . If you really want to get specific.
poultry. The best advice I can give any home cook is practice as much as you can. You want to start with an oven that's preheated at a high temperature to seal the meat thus preventing a loss of juices while at the same time caramelizing the surface. roasting Nowadays most roasting takes place in the oven and offers a fast method of cooking tender portions of meat. Some meats will require basting to keep from drying out . especially in the summer when it’s too hot to cook inside. and fish. lower the temperature and continue roasting until done.This only touches the surface of what there is to learn about grilling as a cooking method.20 minutes. After 10. It’s a great way to cook without a lot of mess.
.. Too shallow..your food will steam. What Is Saute? Saute in French means "to jump" and can be a method of cooking or a way to describe a dish like sauteed chicken breasts.. and the food may burn. and your oven will be a mess. an extra dividend to the roasting method... Too big. Birds should be cooked breast down to start and then finished on the other side to allow the juices and fat to flow into the breast meat. too small and your roast may stick to the sides of the pan. Make sure you have a roasting pan that is the correct size for what you are cooking.while some cuts of meat like pork are fatty enough and will require no basting.. not roast. too deep. The reason the . And be sure to retain the wonderful... incredible pan juices by deglazing the roasting pan for gravies and sauces. Sometimes it is necessary to bard (tie pieces of fat to the surface of) what you are cooking to help with basting.
A good example is when you pan-fry eggplant for eggplant parmesan. or meat. this technique is easy and allows you to prepare meals in a moment’s notice. Once you know how. As a novice. That’s the beauty of learning a basic technique. What Is the Difference Between Sauteing & Pan Frying? Although they are both considered dry heat cooking and use a fat to transfer the heat of the pan to the food. Typically a pan-fry requires enough oil to reach almost halfway up the ingredient you are cooking.French called this technique "to jump" is because you are cooking at a very high heat and you don't want it sitting too long in the pan. you can effectively read any company’s report. fish. vegetables. This includes sautéing chicken. The Advantages of Sauteing Once learned and in your repertoire. To be successful. sautéing The Formula To A Great Saute Proper Saute = Good Saute Pan + High Heat + A Little Fat + Uniformly Cut Ingredients The Right Pan For The Job . pan frying requires more oil and you don't toss or move the food around like you do with saute. Compare it to learning how to read a financial statement. you need to move the ingredients either with a pair of tongs or like they do on TV by tossing it in the air. you will be free to be creative and devise your own recipes with whatever ingredients you have around. Saute is a type of frying which is a dry heat method of cooking requiring high heat and some sort of liquid fat to cook with.
Some say the pan the pan should have sloped sides. heavy bottom that spreads the heat evenly without any hot spots. You match the oil to the style of cooking but remember much of the flavor will be cooked off because of the high heat so you may just be better off using a generic oil like canola or safflower and add a little of the flavored oil at the end. they may choose olive oil. Non-stick is ok if you don't plan to make pan sauces but you need a little sticking to create the "fond" or the brown bits that stick to your pan that are responsible for those delicious sauces served in your favorite restaurants. What you cook and the amount you’re cooking will determine how butter and oil you use. but if they are preparing an Asian dish. check out my Choosing A Good Saute Pan. others say straight. To me it doesn't matter as long as the pan has a dense.450° F) produces a nice crust and will not burn as quickly. Oil (375° F . I use a non-stick pan for my sauteed spinach and broccoli rabe but prefer metal for everything else. For example. The Right Fat . Butter (350°F) will give your food the best taste and a wonderful golden crust but burns more easily. To learn more about what to look for in a good saute pan and how to purchase the best one for you. If they are cooking a Mediterranean style dish. It has to be big enough to cook your ingredients without crowding so buy accordingly. use about 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons of each for 2 or more chicken cutlets and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of each for 2 or more fish fillets. . This way I get some of the flavor from the butter and a higher smoking point from the oil. sesame oil might be the better choice. Most chefs will use different oils depending on what they are cooking.Butter or Oil? It all has to do with smoking points. but also doesn’t leave as rich a flavor or color as butter alone. The Reluctant Gourmet uses a combination of the two.
it may be too much. Big mistake . So add accordingly. Important Tip . chicken or fish.Preheating the Pan The biggest mistake home cooks make when sauteing is not getting the pan hot enough. how do they know what size pan you are using. You are not deep frying so just cover the bottom of the pan. 2 tablespoons in a large pan might not be big enough. put them into a cold pan and stick it on the flame. They take cold ingredients right out of the refrigerator.How Much Fat? Just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. You'll end with bone dry meat.don't do it. . When a recipe tells you to add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. If you add 2 tablespoons to a small pan.
In fact prepping the ingredients will take longer than the actual cooking. What I learned about the ancient technique of Stir-Fry is you have to be prepared before you start. . but this is a must when doing stir-fry. There’s something about those crunchy vegetables. I like to put the ingredients in individual bowls separated by cooking times.you can’t stop. The Chinese have a way of manipulating food that I wanted to learn about so I dug out the wok that I inherited when I got married and started reading up and experimenting. and incredible flavors that forces me to dig out a menu buried in a kitchen drawer and order from a local restaurant. tender meats. Stir-frying will also give you some practice with your cutting skills since each ingredient will be bite size (Have you ever seen a knife in a Chinese restaurant?) and have different cuts. color and texture of the food and keep the vegetables crisp. Once you get your pan hot….Stir Fry Every week or so I get a craving for Chinese food. Easy enough. Often I talk about prepping ingredients before you start cooking. The technique is to quickly fry the ingredients in a large pan over high heat while constantly stirring to preserve flavor.. Once prepped.
rice wine or dry sherry. you want to use a high smoking point oil like peanut. You start by prepping the meat or chicken. Now you’re ready to stir-fry. or canola. brown sugar. corn. red pepper flakes. hoisin sauce. Slower cooking vegetables like asparagus and green beans will be added before faster cooking vegetables like pea pods and tomatoes. chili sauce. longer is better. Prepare an aromatic mixture consisting of finely chopped herbs and spices that will add flavor and aroma to the stir-fry. Some of the specialty ingredients that you should be able to find at your local supermarket are soy sauce. shallots. and chili sauce. Marinate for a least one hour. you can use whatever you have on hand to make a stir-fry. It’s a great way to clean out the vegetable drawer. You can use a typical frying pan. and chili peppers to name a few. scallions. Typical marinade ingredients include chicken or beef stock. The heat concentrates at the bottom of the pan and the curved sides allow you to push the ingredients to cooler areas. a large deep bowl made of thin metal with gentle curved sides. hoisin sauce. Other than a few specialty ingredients. soy sauce. Next prepare your vegetables by cutting them into small pieces and separating according to their cooking times. Typical aromatics include garlic. Short or medium grained rice is best for accompanying your stir-fry. but it won’t cook as fast thus keeping your vegetables as crisp as you would want. safflower. The marinade can be made with a variety of liquids depending on the flavor you are trying to obtain. Because you’ll be cooking at very high heat. corn starch.Typically one uses a wok. . Cut the meat into thin bitesize slices and marinate to protect it from overcooking.