For the next few days Everyday Chef will focus on all aspects of sautè. This extremely versatile cooking technique is truly an entryway to thousands of quick and healthy recipes we can whip up during a weeknight. The Free Dictionary defines sautè as "A form of French sauter, (which means) to leap or cause to toss." Based on this definition it's easy to conjure the image of your favorite Food Network chef expertly tossing vegetables around a hot pan with a seemingly effortless flick of the wrist. Which, truthfully, seems pretty far from what I can handle after work. Sautèing is cooking over medium to high heat with a small amount of oil or butter. Because the heat is high, and the amount of fat is small, it's imperative to KEEP THE FOOD MOVING. But this can easily be done with a wooden spoon. It's okay to think moving the food from side to side in the pan rather than jumping.
Check back tomorrow as we explore the art of sautè with expert advice on preheating the pan.