Tender Sautéed Veggies

Chop your veggies

Whatever veg you ended up buying, just cut them up into bite-sized, uniform pieces.

Did I mention you want the pieces to be uniform? This is so they’ll cook evenly. If there’s too much of a size differential, the smaller pieces will burn while the larger pieces are still cooking. And we don’t want that because charcoal isn’t delicious.

Remember your “cats claw” – tuck your fingers in to avoid cutting them!

Sauté your veggies

Before we start, notice that this entire Mission has only two steps. That’s right, this second step is the entire rest of the Mission!

Why haven’t I broken it down into more digestible chunks? Well, I can’t. Sautéing happens so fast that it’s really just one single step. Once you set events into motion, you keep moving until the whole thing is done.

So you watch the entire video through, read the tips below, and know what to expect before you start. That way you can successfully execute your sautée in one swell foop. Sounds good? Awesome!

Here are the 5 key things to know about sautéeing:

  1. Do not overcrowd the pan – Food releases steam as it heats up. If there’s too much stuff in the pan, it will create a lot of steam that gets trapped underneath, preventing the nice charring/browning that creates flavor. You need things to be dry to char.
  2. Heat the pan first, then add oil – Metal expands as it heats up. A cold pan has larger pores that will trap oil. A hot pan has a much “smoother” surface that oil will glide on top of. This makes it less likely that your food will stick. By the way, make sure you add enough oil.* It should cover the surface of the pan, and then some. If you don’t use enough oil, your food will stick and burn.
  3. Use high heat – Sautéing relies on high heat to cook the food quickly. So don’t be afraid to really crank it up.
  4. Resist the urge to stir constantly – A common mistake. Stirring releases heat and makes it so that nothing touches the pan long enough to get that nice browning/charring.
  5. Wait til the end to add salt – Salt draws the water out of food, turns it mushy, and again creates steam, the enemy of browning. So leave the salt until the very end, just before you’re ready to serve. That way it adds flavor, instead of doing weird things to your food.

All ready to sauté? Go for it! Good luck!

* Fat is not inherently unhealthy, and you should not be afraid to use it. Think about it: right now, you’re cooking fresh vegetables with known ingredients you picked out yourself, instead of eating mystery takeout. Give yourself a break. :)

Nicely done!

You made some delicious food. Now go enjoy it!

P.S. - If you want to show off your work on the lesson gallery, send me a picture.

To complete this Mission:

Take a picture of your sautéed veggies

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