Food & Drink

How to sauté, season and bake like you know what you’re doing

Good Eats cooking school owner Paulette Bruce fills her classes with tips and advice. Such as:

1. When sautéing, it is essential to heat the pan and oil properly for even heat distribution. Heat the pan first, then add the oil. Heat the oil, then add the meat/chicken and begin to sauté. Cleaning the pan will be easier.

2. When sautéing, do not try to flip the meat/chicken immediately. Leave it in place for a few minutes to let the proteins cook, then turn it over. You’ll know when it’s ready to turn by raising the meat/chicken with a pair of tongs and it comes right up without sticking. If you flip it too early, it will shred and pieces will stick to the pan.

3. Add salt and pepper as you are cooking, not just at the beginning and end. This will give the food more depth of flavor. Taste what you’re cooking as you go along. Always use sea salt or kosher salt, and fresh-ground pepper.

4. Baking demands exact amounts of ingredients. Use a large spoon to scoop flour from the container and into the measuring cup, and scrape off excess with a knife. Never scoop the cup into the flour and then shake off the excess, as that will pack the flour and give an inaccurate measurement.

5. Always use unsalted butter, preferably European-style. It has more flavor than ordinary butter because of added cultures, longer churning, fermentation and high butterfat content. Bruce recommends the Plugra brand.

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