One of the proper ways to saute is to
assemble all ingredients and preparations. Cut the main item into an
appropriate size. Trim away the fats from the meats. For poultry
and fillets of fish, remove the skin and bones. Pound or butterfly the
meats to achieve an even thickness. Vegetables and fruits are generally
sliced, but this should be a decision made with respect to the nature of
the food itself. For instance, you would certainly slice or chunk
pineapple before sauteing it, but you may not need to do so with small
Marinades, stuffings, or seasonings may be
required by specific recipes. Marinades should be allowed a sufficient
amount of time to add the correct degree of flavor. Stuffings must be
properly prepared, allowed to cool if necessary, then incorporated
correctly and secured so that they do not escape during cooking.
Dredging or dusting the item with flour is
another common advance preparation technique. This is generally
recommended for meat cut into strips and for chicken and fish. Dusting is
optional, otherwise, and many chefs feel that it is not always desirable.
If you wish, seasoning can be added to the flour. If it is not, it is
generally a good idea to season the food lightly with salt, pepper or
other items just prior to sauteing.
The cooking medium must be able to reach
relatively high temperatures without breaking down or smoking. Clarified
butter, neutral-flavored oil, olive oil, or rendered fats such as bacon,
goose fat or lard are often used.
A base sauce is usually necessary. There are
a number of possible ingredients you may need to have on hand to flavor or
finish the sauce. Wine, stock, cognac or liqueur, fortified wine, or water
is often used to deglaze the pan. Additional aromatic ingredients, such as
shallots, mushrooms, capers, tomatoes or peppers (capsicums) might be
required. Butter may be used to finish the sauce; it should be whole
butter, diced and either chilled or softened to room temperature.