Cooking How-To: The Art of Saute

High-flavor, low-fat tips for cooking veggies, seafood, and poultry in a snap.

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Why You Should Learn to Saute

Why You Should Learn to Saute

Sauteing is the perfect technique for weeknight cooking: healthy, because you're not using too much fat, and quick. You can get loads of flavor out of sauteing fresh veggies, seafood, and poultry, as long as you know a few simple tricks. You can whip up a great meal in just three simple steps.

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Step 1: Heat It Up

Kate Sears

Step 1: Heat It Up

Heat fat in a skillet over medium-high until a drop of water sizzles when added to the pan. Olive oil and butter begin to smoke at a lower temperature than canola oil. Consider this when choosing your fat, avoiding olive oil and butter when a recipe requires a longer cooking time.

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Step 2: Slice & Arrange

Kate Sears

Step 2: Slice & Arrange

Cut ingredients to a uniform size, pat them dry, then add them to the pan in a single layer. Overlapping ingredients trap moisture, which will cause them to steam rather than saute.

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Step 3: Get Cookin'

Kate Sears

Step 3: Get Cookin'

Cook until done, stirring only as directed. Depending on what you're cooking, "done" might mean browned, tender, or cooked all the way through. Be patient -- constantly moving the food in the pan hinders the browning that is the sign of a perfect (and perfectly delicious) saute.

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Sesame Snow Peas

Kate Sears

Sesame Snow Peas

Make these quick-and-easy snow peas a weeknight staple. They cook up in five minutes and are a terrific side for fish or Asian-flavored foods.

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Simply Scallops

Kate Sears

Simply Scallops

These scallops are scrumptious and straightforward, with just a hint of lemon. Let them sizzle when they hit the pan, and they'll develop a delectable crust.

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Super Shrimp Saute

Kate Sears

Super Shrimp Saute

This easy recipe results in a perfect one-pot meal.

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Turkey Tacos

Kate Sears

Turkey Tacos

This family favorite comes together in no time.

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Toasted Quinoa with Cranberries

Kate Sears

Toasted Quinoa with Cranberries

Kids will love the sweet dried cranberries in this nutty quinoa salad.

Originally published in the February 2012 issue of Parents magazine.

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