How to Cook: Sautéed Meats
By Nutritional Weight & Wellness Staff
March 7, 2018
Short on time and need to get dinner on the table? We have you covered. When you sauté meat you can have a delicious meal ready in minutes. In this “How to Cook” article, we share techniques to sauté steak, chicken or tuna steaks for a dinner you will be proud to serve. Grab your pan and get ready to cook!
Just like vegetables, there are a few tricks to making sure your meats come out delicious and cooked to the right temperature.
- Make sure the pan is hot before adding meat
- Pat meat dry so it sears, not steams
- Don’t crowd the pan
- Resist flipping (too soon that is)
- Non-stick skillets will take longer to create a nice sear/crust on your meat than a cast iron, aluminum, or stainless steel
Seared Tuna Steaks
For some reason, many people are afraid to cook fish at home, but it’s actually quite easy. When it comes to pan-searing fish, you want to pick one that is very sturdy like tuna, salmon or cod. Cooking with the skin on also makes the fish easier to flip and take out of the pan. One pound of meat or fish typically serves about three people, so this recipe will feed up to six people. You will have to cook in batches to prevent overcrowding of the skillet.
1-2 pounds tuna steak, about 1" thick, cut into 5-6 oz portions
1 Tbsp sesame oil, possibly more
Fresh ground black pepper
- Pat tuna dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sesame oil.
- Add tuna steaks and sear until brown on the outside about 1-3 minutes, and opaque on the inside. Flip using tongs and sear the other side. If you want your tuna completely cooked through, cook 5 minutes per side.
Slice tuna and serve over a large salad with avocado or with a side of cabbage slaw.
Sautéed Chicken Thighs
If you are tired of dry chicken breast, switch to chicken thighs. They stay tender and are more cost effective. Once you have mastered these sautéed chicken thighs , you can go in so many directions with different seasonings. This recipe serves 4-6 depending upon appetites and size of chicken thighs.
2 Tbsp butter, coconut oil or ghee
¼ c. all-purpose flour, gluten-free flour or potato starch
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 Tbsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 Tbsp mixed herbs/spices (curry powder, chili powder, Italian seasoning)
1 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
- In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, and mixed herbs/spices.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with a pepper towel.
- Dredge/coat the chicken in the flour mixture.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (numbers 6-7 on your stove top).
- Add fat, when it is melted add the chicken thighs to the pan. They will sizzle and may splatter a bit.
- Sauté on the first side for 5-7 minutes. The chicken will release from the skillet when it’s ready to flip. Cook on the second side another 7-10 minutes depending upon how big and thick they are.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and let rest on a plate. You may need to add more fat to the pan and cook a second batch of chicken.
- When all the chicken is out of the pan, pour in the broth and juice. Use a spoon or wood spatula to scrape up all the tasty cooked-on bits and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
Serve chicken topped with sauce and a side of vegetables.
Does cooking a whole steak feel daunting to you? Afraid you will over or undercook it? Try this recipe for a quick weeknight dinner, or even a romantic date night supper. This recipe will serve three moderately hungry adults, or one really hungry teenager.
1 pound beef sirloin steak, cut into 1" pieces
2-3 Tbsp butter
Kosher or sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
½-1 c. red wine or broth
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add the butter and melt.
- Generously season the beef with salt and pepper on all sides.
- Add beef to skillet, you should hear a nice loud sizzling noise. If not, your skillet isn’t hot enough.
- Cook 45 seconds, then flip. If the steak bites are sticking to the skillet, you either didn’t add enough fat, or they are not ready to flip yet. Cook an additional 45 seconds until the outsides are browned but the inside is still a little pink.
- Remove steak from the skillet, repeat with more meat as needed.
- Pour in wine or broth and scrape up all the delicious bits. Pour over your steak and serve with mashed potatoes and cauliflower.
As you perfect this recipe, try seasoning your meat with different herbs and spices like rosemary, thyme, oregano, or curry powder.
By now you should be feeling pretty confident with your new-found roasting and sautéing skills. In our next "How to Cook" article we will be dusting off everyone’s favorite kitchen appliance, the slow cooker.