Sauteing And Panfrying

Remember that the main differences between sauteing and pan-frying are in the amount of fat used and in the cooking time. Sauteing means cooking quickly in a small amount of fat.The product is often tossed or flipped in the pan over high heat. Pan-frying means cooking in a larger amount of fat, usually for a longer time at lower heat, and the product is not tossed or flipped. In practice,the two methods are often similar, and the distinction between them is hard to draw.

Both methods may be used for finish-cooking precooked or blanched vegetables as well as for completely cooking vegetables from the raw state. Sauteing in butter is especially popular for finishing precooked and chilled vegetables for service.

Stir-frying is a quick-cooking technique used in Asian cookery. In effect,it is similar to sauteing, except the pan is left stationary and the items being cooked are stirred and flipped in hot fat with spatulas or other tools. For the basic stir-frying procedure, see page 3l4.This is the general procedure for stir-frying all foods, including meats.To use the procedure for vegetables only, omit steps 4,5, and 6.

Pr rocedure for Sautéing Vegetables

Flipping action of wrist

Figure 17.1 To flip foods in a sauté pan, give the handle a sharp twist upward with the wrist. Be sure to move the pan back far enough to catch the foods as they come down.

Flipping action of wrist

This method is used for precooked or blanched vegetables and for tender, small-cut vegetables that cook quickly.

1. Collect all equipmentandfood products.

2. Prepare vegetables as required.

3. Place sauté pan on high heat.

4. When the pan is hot, add a small amount of clarified butter, oil, or other fat, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. (Clarified butter is used because the milk solids in whole butter burn quickly at the high heat necessary for sautéing.)

5. As soon as the fat is hot, add the vegetable. Do not overload the pan, or the temperature will be lowered too much and the vegetables will simmer instead of sauté.

6. After the heat has recovered, flip the pan a few times to turn and toss the vegetables (see Figure 17.1). Let the pan set again over the heat.

7. Continue to flip the vegetables as often as necessary for them to cook or heat evenly and become coated with the cooking fat. (Don't flip more than necessary, however. It may be fun and a good way to show off, but it's a waste of time and accomplishes nothing except breaking fragile vegetables. Also, the heat must have time to recover between flips.)

8. As soon as the vegetables are cooked, or heated through if precooked, remove from the pan and serve. Browning may or may not be desirable, depending on the vegetable and the particular preparation.

Figure 17.1 To flip foods in a sauté pan, give the handle a sharp twist upward with the wrist. Be sure to move the pan back far enough to catch the foods as they come down.

Procedure for Pan-Frying Vegetables

Note:A griddle is often used for this procedure if only a small amount of fat is required.


Collect all equipment and food products.


Prepare vegetables as required.


Place a sauté pan or cast-iron skillet on moderately high heat. Add required amount of fat to the pan

and let it heat.


Place prepared vegetables in the pan. Adjust the heat so the product cooks through with the de

sired amount of browning but without burning the outside.


Turn vegetables with a spatula and continue to cook until done.


Remove from pan. If necessary, drain on absorbent paper to eliminate excess fat.

Pan-Fried Eggplant with Tomato Sauce

Portions: 24 Portion size: 3^/2 oz (100 g) eggplant 2 floz (60 mL) sauce





612 lb

3 kg

Eggplant Breading:


Wash and trim eggplants. Pare if skins are tough. Cut crosswise into 14-in. (0.5-cm) slices.

6 oz

175 g



Hold in strongly salted cold water up to 30 minutes. (This step may be

112 tsp

7 mL


omitted, but it helps prevent darkening and eliminates some bitter flavors.)

12 tsp

2 mL

White pepper


Set up breading station, seasoning the flour with the salt and pepper.

1 pt

500 mL

Egg wash


Drain the eggplants and dry them well. Pass through Standard Breading

114 lb

600 g

Bread crumbs

Procedure (see p. 143).

as needed

as needed

Oil for frying


Heat ^in. (0.5 cm) oil in a heavy iron skillet or sauté pan. Pan fry the breaded eggplant on both sides until browned. Remove from pan with slotted spatula and drain on absorbent paper.

112 qt 1.5 L Tomato sauce 6.

Per serving:

Calories, 260; Protein, 7 g; Fat, 13 g (44% cal.); Cholesterol, 70 mg; Carbohydrates, 30 g; Fiber, 4 g; Sodium, 490 mg.

Continue reading here: Variations

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