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Yummy food for your brood
Jun 22, 2012
10:36 AM

Cooking Tips for Absolute Beginners

Klutz in the kitchen? Never fear! Our savvy foodie mom breaks down the bare bones basics for nervous parents (and kids) with simple tips.

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Sauteing Meat

Sauteing meat is fast and turns out moist, delicious entrees. Become a saute master by first picking the right pan – use a large, wide-rimmed, heavy bottomed one. Non-stick pans don't work as well for sauteing meat! Put the saute pan on a stovetop burner and turn the heat to medium-high. Let the pan warm up, testing the heat by putting your hand two inches from the surface: When it's heated, you should only be able to keep your hand there for a moment (do NOT touch the pan's surface). Add enough oil (olive, canola or vegetable) to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Allow the oil to heat for about a minute before adding the meat.

Pat the meat dry before adding it to the pan – the less moisture on the outside, the better chance that you'll have a crisp crust on the outside. Place the meat in the heated oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, which steams the meat and makes it soggy. Cook the meat on the first side until you begin to see it browning around the edges; then, flip the meat to the other side and repeat the process. Be careful not to overcook or undercook the meat.

Tip: After removing the meat from the pan, add chicken broth or white wine to create a sauce. Use a metal spatula to remove any stuck-on bits from the pan's surface. These bits will give the sauce flavor and thickness.

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