Sauté safely & try not to get splattered with hot oil!

Happy Labor Day weekend! For those of you who have Monday off, I hope everyone is relaxing and enjoying the long weekend, while keeping safe from this nutty pandemic.

We learned about sautéing this week. First, heat the pan with a thin film of oil. Recommended oils to use to create that “smoke point” in the pan before sautéing your ingredient to the pan are vegetable, canola, grapeseed, and avocado. It is not recommended to use olive oil because it has a low smoke point. The goal of sautéing is to get the food you are cooking to become golden brown. Our chef instructors spoke about an acronym called “GBD,” which equates to “golden brown delicious.” I love that! Our assignment was to sauté chicken breast and zucchini.

I have to admit, sautéing is not my favorite style of cooking. I tried to avoid getting splattered with hot oil once I added my chicken and zucchini (cut bâtonette style) into the oiled pan. Nope! I still got hit- ouch! Splat splat! Perhaps I should’ve worn gloves, haha. Luckily, my arms were protected, as my chef’s coat uniform has long sleeves. Phew!

On the flip side, even though this wasn’t my preferred cooking method, the chicken and zucchini were fabulously ‘onolicious! Holy cow! It was so amazing! The best chicken and zucchini I’ve ever tasted! It’s remarkable how canola oil, salt, and pepper makes a dish so incredibly tasty. Those simple ingredients are so significant.

I made a pan sauce with the remnants of the chicken. It was a bit similar to the beurre blanc sauce I made last week. The three common ingredients for the pan sauce were shallots (cut brunoise style), white wine, and cold butter. This sauce needed chicken stock, instead of white wine vinegar (buerre blanc). This made the pan sauce a lot less acidic compared to the buerre blanc. It paired very well with the chicken.

Before sautéing the chicken, I tenderized it to about 1/2-inch. The purpose of tenderizing is so the protein cooks evenly, is easier to chew, and is more juicy when eaten. Check, check, check! I dredged the tenderized meat in all-purpose flour before putting it in the hot oiled pan. I love that sizzling sound as it enters the pan. It’s so satisfying! Sautéing the chicken took way less time to cook, compared to poaching it last week. It was GDB perfection!

Have a great holiday and new week ahead. Stay safe!

FS x

Nine of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Margaritas

We’ve got five days left till Christmas. It’s coming and coming fast! I managed to finish my holiday shopping yesterday. What a relief! What’s left is the wrapping and more holiday baking. I hope you all are keeping safe and healthy, as the pandemic is still greatly present in this world. Keep your distance, make good hygiene part of your lifestyle, and wear your masks. We are going to conquer this together!

Today, I’m sharing the ninth fact that the year has taught and reminded me:

9. To be mindful and open to change and possibilities.

2020 was a year to fully incorporate mindfulness and openness as change was and is still so prevalent in our world. Life has been very unpredictable and uncertain for many, if not, all of us. Feelings of daily ambiguity has never come to the forefront of my mind until this year. Before the chaos began, I never gave it a second thought. In a way, it felt like I lived my life blindly, though I was clearly aware of things happening before me. I can’t quite explain it, but all I know is that 2020 was a very unique year, where different feelings I’ve never encountered, were felt and made aware in my conscious that would change my life. This year alone, I’ve seen countless times where things constantly changed. Not only daily, but sometimes within hours of the same day. Change does not always come easy to people. Many people I know don’t like change. They have a hard time adjusting, including myself at times. With so many changes that occurred within 2020, I had to ready my mind and heart to be accepting of whatever changes came and are still to come my way.

This year was not all angst. I found light, too. A beacon of hope for potential possibilities in my life. A lot of ideas, thinking, reflection, pondering… Good moments. Inspiring and motivating junctures. Change is not always unpleasant. I’m grateful for the good changes.

Mindfulness has such awesome benefits. This article describes what mindfulness is and its health benefits: https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-mindfulness/. I have been trying to practice mindfulness regularly because I want to reap the positive benefits of this practice. Who wants to live their lives miserable and stressed?

Let’s talk margaritas. Blended peach margaritas. Yum! It was so good and very simple to make. All the ingredients listed you add accordingly to your taste buds and preferences.

Ingredients:

  • Tequila
  • Triple sec
  • Lemon juice
  • Peach slices/cubes
  • Salt
  • Ice

Cheers to the week of Christmas! Be safe! Until next time.

Happy Sunday!

FS