Sautée: a French term meaning tossed (from sauter to jump) or the Latin term saltāre meaning to dance (from salīre to spring).
Sautée has always been intimidating to me. To take a heavy hot pan and to move it in such a way so that it’s extremely hot contents go flying in the air and (hopefully) land back in the pan, instead of on the floor, seems dangerous. Nevertheless, I must face my fears and put aside the spatula.
I practiced with the fairly lightweight ingredient of frozen potato strips. Of course, you know them as French Fries (Trader Joe’s Handsome Cut Fries are my favorite). I started to use a spatula to flip them, then courage took over and I decided that this must be done by sautée. I took both hands and secured the handle and shook the hot pan. A couple tossed over, then a few more, and a few more. A couple of times, I was able to toss nearly all of them, with only a couple casualties hitting the floor. In the end, they had cooked fairly evenly, more so than if I had used the spatula to turn them.
I can’t say that I became comfortable with the technique, but I did feel like I had been to the gym for an upper body workout. Chef Husband teaches that one should start with trying to flip a piece of bread (not over heat) and then move on to dry beans for practice. Perhaps while watching a Hallmark movie or Fixer Upper, I should do my frypan workout.
Until next time…
Mrs. Chef (Christa)