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Top Chef Sylvain Harribey of the Sofitel New York shares this tip:
When you cook, don’t overcrowd the pan with the ingredients. In a packed pan, foods end up steaming rather than caramelizing. This adds cooking time and subtracts taste.
All ingredients should fit comfortably in one layer. Either use a pan that’s big enough for the job, or cook in batches as necessary.
Need more tips? Head to YouTube and search for basic cooking lessons or specific techniques.
Skillet vs. Sauté Pan (Frying Pan): A skillet has low, sloped sides that help with evaporation and steam dissipation. It is used for browning and/or caramelizing, and for reducing sauces. The sloped sides make it easy to flip food and slide it out of the pan. A sauté pan has straight sides and can come with a lid. It is used for braising and pan frying; the high sides reduce splatters and keep in the moist heat.
Saucepan vs. Saucier: A saucepan has straight sides and is used for basic heating and boiling. A saucier is rounded and bowl-shaped, ideal for the preparation of sauces, custards, risotto and creamy foods. Unlike the saucepan, the saucier has no angle on the bottom where food can hide and burn; and the wider mouth is better for whisking.
SECOND TIP: USE THE RIGHT PAN
Cook potatoes and other vegetables in one layer. The roast chicken was added after the potatoes were cooked. Photo of All-Clad skillet from Williams-Sonoma.
Griddle vs. Grill: A griddle is a heavy, flat cooking utensil. A grill is an open web on which foods are placed to directly expose them to fire.
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