33

Onions always benefit from a few minutes on their own to soften and start sweetening. Garlic burns easily, especially when finely chopped or crushed, so in general should not be fried as long as onion. Having said that, when doing a quick stir fry or similar dish, you can throw in the garlic first for 10-20 seconds so that it flavours the oil.


31

There's a great experiment on Cooking Issues that deals with this very problem. The general advice is to not crowd the pan because of the concomitant release of water; however, the guys found that doing this is actually beneficial because, although a lot of water is initially released, by the time the liquid has eventually evaporated the mushrooms have ...


21

Ah, One Pot Pasta.... As loads of bloggers, authors and cooks - possibly inspired by Martha Stewart and her team - have confirmed: dumping the pasta, sauce ingredients and a carefully meassured amount of liquid in one pot or pan will give you a "pasta and sauce" dish in ten to fifteen minutes. And it works. Sort of. Your instinct matches my experience: ...


20

I would .. hydrate the dried mushrooms in enough near-boiling water to cover, plus a bit, for as long as you like. Lift the mushrooms out and reserve the soaking liquor. Sauté the soaked mushrooms along with the fresh If your recipe involves a reduction stage, of wine, stock, or some other ingredient, add the liquor, and reduce alongside.. Or, if there is ...


18

Examining your questions in order: The general rule is onions first. Sauté the garlic towards the end for 30-ish seconds before removing from the heat. As ElendilTheTall correctly pointed out, garlic can scorch quickly, especially if you tend to sauté on the hot side (as I do). Starting your sauté with onions first has two advantages: it allows you to ...


17

The coating you are talking about is potato starch that is browning on the bottom of the pan, similar to what happens to roux when it is prepared. If you deglaze the pan using alcohol, it will come right off without any effort (water works too, though more is needed). As for how to get the potatoes not to stick, it's important that the pan and the oil are ...


16

If the recipes were truly interesting in 'releasing the flavors', they'd be sweating the onions, not sauteing them. Sauté is a higher-heat method that will cook the vegetables to create other chemical compounds, thus changing their flavor. In the case of garlic and onions, this cooking makes them dramatically sweeter. But sometimes you don't want that -- ...


11

In terms of sautéing, the simple answer is that using oil is going to let you develop fond, i.e. the tasty brown stuff, on your veggies whereas cooking only with water will essentially boil/steam your vegetables — and perhaps give them a little char, as well. In cooking, both oil and water are basically just things you use to transfer heat to food. They are ...


10

I've sauteed baby spinach many times and I've never had it become slimy. I've never seen a cookbook or article that stated that either.


8

I wonder where you have read it. Your link doesn't help, maybe you linked the wrong question? It talks about using a stainless pan with oil. If you are talking about true saute (very quick movement of bite-sized pieces of food on a very hot pan), it is completely impossible without oil. If you are misusing the term to mean shallow frying, you can do it ...


8

There are no real doneness rules on mirepoix per se (even raw is used in some dishes). However, the recipe designer may say sweat versus sauté to give an indication of colour and flavour depth to match the 'headliner' of the dish (usually the meat). Although not a rule, you may generally see sweat used more for lighter meats like fish and fowl and sauté ...


8

The answer is a bit complicated, because there is a confusing language issue here. In standard cooking terminology, there is nothing in common between the two (except that both are stovetop). Sautéeing requires a wicked hot pan, a layer of oil (you can't use nonstick at these temperatures), and constant movement of the food. Basically, you are burning/...


7

Caramelising is a chemical process in which sugars decompose under the influence of heat (pyrolisis). It happens to any heated sugars, no matter if they are free (as in heating refined sugar for making candy) or bound in something else (such as the sugars naturally occurring in an onion). The outcome of the process are compounds which have a dark color and ...


7

Mushrooms contain a lot of water, so you'll never be able to avoid it completely. However, you can reduce it by: Frying in smaller batches, which prevents too much water being released at once, which prevents efficient evaporation. Not stirring the mushrooms too vigorously, especially early on in the process. The tendency is to add the mushrooms to the pan ...


7

First, you don't crowd the pan when sauteing. If you do it, you are no longer sauteing, because your food doesn't come in contact with the surface frequently enough. You also can't really keep the separate pieces hopping, the best you could do would be to throw it around as a mass (like a pancake turning), which means they'll touch the pan with one side only,...


6

Use the widest pan you can to maximize evaporation while you fry them, also, you can put them in a very low oven for an hour to draw some of the moisture out. Don't crowd the pan, make sure each one has some space. Also, don't wash them in water before cooking! Mushrooms are sponges, they absorb liquids. Wipe them with a dry cloth or paper towel instead to ...


6

Based on comments, the likely culprit is moisture cooking out of the mushrooms and into your other ingredients. Mushrooms contain a surprising amount of liquid, and when cooking them you'll see that they shrink down significantly due to moisture loss. If you're adding them to other ingredients, some of the resulting liquid is hanging around in the pan long ...


6

That is really a matter of choice. If you cook the veggies for a while, they will also release their aromatics.... but they taste different. Especially if using onions. and especially if you sautee long enough to brown. Not browning bones and veggies gives a light boullion, browning them a brown bouillon. To give you an example: Marcella Hazan gives in her ...


6

Sauteing in butter is not really all that different from sauteing in any other oil: it just takes an awareness of the smoke point, and avoiding it. Consider investing in an IR thermometer that can tell you exactly the temperature of the pan (with or without the oil) so you can heat the pan to exactly the right point. For butter, that is about 350°F, which ...


6

Generally, browning meat is done at high heat, with a preheated pan well over 400°F, and will leave a bunch of tasty brown stuff (fond) stuck to the bottom of the pan. Vegetables contain a lot of water, which will dissolve the fond off the bottom of the pan, bringing its flavor in to the dish. If you did it in the other order, you'd have maybe have some ...


6

Realize that the flavor of dried mushroom is different from fresh. You will probably use less, depending on the mushroom. However, to answer your question specifically, rehydrate first.


5

Well, its either potato or oil (obviously). You could be getting some sugar or starch out of the potatoes, and having it burn to the bottom of the pan. Most of this would probably come off pretty easily if allowed to soak in hot water (especially the sugar). Try deglazing it off the pan, that will probably be fairly easy (and if its browned instead of burnt,...


5

Assuming that you want to end up with light onions and not caramelized onions: You always want the onions to be cooked through enough to have lost the sharp flavor and hard texture, just as Michael mentioned. In some recipes, you will prepare them to the desired stage, then finish the recipe with the other ingredients. This is frequently done in stir-...


5

When tomatoes are used as a vegetable in a dish that does need extra water, I will often de-seed my tomatoes. For example, when I put them in an omelet. The process is simple. Just cut the tomato in half and sweep and the seeds and pulp. Use the remaining flesh as a vegetable. This technique will work with any tomato but obviously some are better suited ...


5

I agree with everything rumtscho said in her answer. I would add the "crowding" may be a little vague because the density of food in the pan may vary significantly depending on what the ingredients are. It's also worth noting that definitions of things like sauteing and sweating can vary a bit from person to person, and there are cooking techniques that ...


5

In some recipes (eg chinese kung bao, some thai and south indian soups), you score the peppers or cut them into coarse pieces, so cooking oil or a broth with some fat or alcohol content can enter and exit the inside while the peppers are sauteed/stir fired with the rest of the food. This tends to dissolve a lot of heat into the liquids without too strong a ...


4

In general, there are two main stopping points for sauteing onions: as you are describing, just cooking until translucent is enough to make sure that the raw onion flavor is gone and they have broken down enough for their flavor to permeate the dish without overpowering it. The other option is cooking the onions until they are deep brown and caramelized. ...


4

This answer is coming far after the original post but I think I truly have the key to this question. All above answers are correct but missing a key part. First off I work in a high volume restaurant where we pan roast all types of fish and meat in aluminum pans. There really is only one way to be able to cook a half chicken skin side down or a piece of ...


4

Elendil's suggestions are good, but I question your use of "lots of olive oil". You say that you heat up the pan to ensure it is very hot and (then?) use a lot of olive oil. Pouring lots of cold oil in a very hot pan will of course cool it down a lot as well. My experience is that it's much better to fry mushrooms in small batches in a dry (ungreased), hot ...


4

In addition to what's already been mentioned, try salting or brining them (any kind of tomato), before draining them. That will cause them to release more water and become more concentrated in flavor. See also Keeping scrambled eggs with tomatoes from being too watery.


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