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One of the most popular, easy, and healthy cooking techniques is sautéing. This method, which involves cooking food quickly at a high temperature, using a small amount of fat is a great way to serve yourself and your family tasty and wholesome recipes with only minimal cooking time. You may already be familiar with a few different sautéed chicken and beef recipes, but there is so much more that you can make this way. Not only can you get a browned and crispy chicken breast or perfectly tender f…

let mignon, but it's a favored technique for cooking lean and tender meat, vegetable wedges, and seafood, like scallops and shrimp. When you're making soups, sauces, and stew, you may first want to brown vegetables and beef or chicken to enhance the flavor of your recipe.

Sauté Basics

Sautéing is one of the fastest cooking methods. So when you're making one of your easy meat or vegetarian recipes, you should have all your ingredients laid and measured out on the kitchen counter. If you have to search for peppercorns, olive oil, or a tablespoon of minced garlic cloves, you might miss their optimal cooking window.

Before putting the food in the pan, allow it to get hot. On a medium-high flame, it should take about a minute to get sufficiently hot. Add your oil first, followed by the food. And whenever you put anything into a hot pan, keep your hand several inches above the pan to prevent getting burned. If the oil starts smoking -- especially if you're using vegetable oil, then the pan is too hot! Just turn the flame down. You cannot sauté your food correctly if the pan is too hot or too cold.

It helps to occasionally keep the hot pan in motion by tossing the food. Gently shaking the pan lets the heat penetrate the food more evenly by shifting the position of food at the bottom and top and letting all the pieces get equal exposure to the hot surface of the pan. This is especially important when you're cooking vegetables. But if you have a lot of food or a lot of veggies, it's best to sauté in several batches than to allow the food to get overcrowded. Some home chefs can do this with a few flicks of the wrist, and it saves them from having to clean a spatula or cooking tongs. But if you don't have the right moves, you can easily flick your food onto the floor, and no one wants to deal with that mess.

Sauté Ingredients

Almost all the sauté recipes you come across will call for a small amount of fat. That's one of the definitions of this cooking technique. But you need to be careful about the type of fat or oil you choose because, in a very hot pan, butter and oil with a low smoke point will start burning a lot sooner than other types of oil. For a cooking method that doesn't give you a lot of time to add salt, you also don't want to be running off to stop the smoke alarm from going off. If you stick with vegetable oils, like corn oil and canola oil, you won't have to worry about causing a smoke hazard in your kitchen. If you don't want to add butter for flavor, do it at the very end. Or you can put it on your food as soon as you remove all the pieces from the searing-hot skillet.

Chicken and Vegetable Sauté

There are some types of cooking techniques that removes or offsets all the nutrients in your food. But when you choose the right ingredients, like vegetable and chicken breast sauté, you don't have that problem. And because sautéing is so fast, the cooking time for this dinner recipe tops out at about 30 minutes. First, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. After the pan has enough time to get hot, cook thin fillets of chicken until browned on both sides -- so 5 to 6 minutes per side. Then reduce flame to medium heat and add red onion wedges, 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth, and summer squash and broccoli (first boil them for about 3 minutes). To up your dietary fiber intake, mix in a cup of navy or cannellini beans. Not only is this meal low-fat and low-calorie, but it's also gluten-free.

Seafood Sauté

I love sautéing shrimp, scallops, and crab meat because it does a great job of sealing in all the rich, aromatic flavors within a crisp, yet tender exterior. After the pan and olive oil get good and hot, I sauté mushrooms, onions, garlic, and colorful vegetables, like red bell peppers and yellow bell peppers. Once your primary ingredients are tender, add in scallops, crabmeat, and shrimp with some white wine, lemon juice, and butter. Seafood cooks fast in a hot skillet. After about 5 minutes, the shrimp should be nice and pink. That's when it's time to remove the pan from the hot burner and place seafood and vegetables on a dish to serve.

Vegetable Sauté

I prefer sautéing vegetables and vegetarian recipes to most other cooking techniques. It's the best way to cook vegetables without making them soft and lose most of their flavor and nutrients. All you need to get started on these easy recipes are some extra virgin olive oil and garlic. You can sauté almost any mix of vegetables you want. I like making white rice and topping it with red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, cremini mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, and summer squash. After cooking the veggies on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, add seasoning. Soy sauce will give your veggie medley a spike of Asian influence. But you can mix it up by adding chicken broth, ginger, oregano, and other spices and flavors.

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