Cooking For Engineers Forum Index Cooking For Engineers
Analytical cooking discussed.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Why Saute?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> Recipes
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Jocelyn
Guest





PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:25 pm    Post subject: Why Saute? Reply with quote

Does anyone know why most recipes recommend sauteing vegetables for making soup, rather than just throwing them in the pot raw?
Back to top
grantmasterflash



Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flavor? Funny things happen to foods when sauteed or grilled. With meat it's the Maillard reaction that changes the amino acids to form new molecules. This changes it's flavor. With vegetables you have carmelizing and other stuff going on.

My guess is it just makes it taste better.

Grant
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LAN3
Guest





PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:14 am    Post subject: Don't forget texture Reply with quote

Some soups like, oh, Chicken Noodle are such that you want to have vegetable chunks. Other soups such as black bean soup call for a mire pois (onions, carrots and celery) chopped small, sauteed, and the end result will be a very soft, barely detectable texture in the mouth (for the vegetables, at least).

For the most part in stews and soups, texture is handled by the size the veggies are cut, and when they are added, e.g. never add green peas up front if you want them to be green and whole at the end of a simmer. But cooking the veggies up front softens them and may or may not flavor them, depending on how much browning you've got. This is especially important for garlic, because browned garlic can be a bad thing. But soften the veggies by sauteing with plenty of heated oil (toss to coat) and a bit of salt. This is called sweating, but not all sweating is identified as such in recipies.

And there are probably soups that just don't simmer long enough to cook whole or large-chunk vegetables that're hard, such as carrots and potatoes/tubers
Back to top
eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good question.

i will probably be cut from this forum, for answering your question.

your answer... if we really want to "get into it"... have to do with food-snobs and anal-retentive food-followers.

you see.... the whole idea of "caramelizing" your veggies, or using the so-called "maillard reaction" to sear your meat and seal in the juices and add "sugar" to your meat, has been proven a myth (in a way). Searing your meat only adds some "carbonized" taste to your tongue, and you are "taught" that this is a good thing. why? because "carbon" taste better then raw flesh!

it is also a "myth" that searing meat helps to "seal" in the juices. this is just plain wrong... but people love to color their "fire" and cooking with myths.

It is true, that burning your veggies helps "bring out their natural sugar"..... oooohhhhh good for you!

so the "great" culinary artisans have taught you to burn your veggies and meat for flavor.... to "caramelize" them... (so to speak).

LOL!!!!

its all simple chemistry folks. in reality, when you burn your flesh, the so-called "maillard" reaction simply describes the flavor of carbonized, burnt, flesh.... with little nutritional value. (there is some protein/sugar chemistry involved, but it is not worth the spit in your mouth).

you like your veggies burnt? cuz they taste better? more "carmelized" or so they say...... fine!

but don't use words like "caramelize" or "maillard reaction" to describe the simple idiocy of modern day "follow the idiot" truthiness of food chemistry and the pitfalls thereof.

hint: "thruthiness" has become a new word, that has not showed up in your stupid dictionary as of late.

big fat ugly hint: "raw" foods have more nutritional value than "carmelized", "maillard-reaction"protein/carbohydrate sources.... but don't let this simple fact get in the way of big-fat-food-snobs and their control of what you eat.

"engineers".... not with standing! Smile

p.s. anybody want some cheese with that? Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jrg



Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry. A lot of cooking traditions can be dismissed as myths, but the Maillard reaction and carmelization cannot. Both are very real, and both have a significant impact on flavor.

Take some raw sugar and turn it into caramel. It would be very difficult to argue that 1) it hasn't changed flavor significantly, or 2) that the flavor isn't better. Sear a steak. The resulting flavors are more complex and generally considered to be better tasting.

The Maillard reaction is also not the same as burning the meat. The Maillard reaction describes a browning process. Once you've burned the meat, it's neither brown nor tasty. The Maillard reaction is a reaction between a sugar and an amino acid. It's not just burning, and strictly speaking, heat's not always required (though for general cooking it is).

The Maillard reaction is also resonsible for much of the flavor (and color) of coffee, chocolate, cola, and toast.

A lot of cooking traditions can be summed up as snobbery, but the Maillard reaction isn't one of them. It's been used since before cooking snobbery even existed. Products of the Maillard reaction are also one of the foundations of the flavoring industry; picking and choosing Maillard products to achieve the desired taste.

The argument that we've simply been taught to enjoy the flavors resulting from the Maillard reaction is no more valid than the argument that we've been simply been taught to enjoy the flavor of spices. It's not just snobbery or training. It actually tastes better.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Taamar
Guest





PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:17 pm    Post subject: Experiment Reply with quote

I can saute a veggie and sear a steak without char. In fact, the point is to get as much caramelization as possible without 'making charcoal' (as my chef instructors used to say).

Try an experiment:
Take a chicken thigh, a carrot, a piece of celery and half an onion. Cut up the veggies. Put it all in cold water , add a tablespoon of oil, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Now take the same ingredients, but saute the chicken in the oil, pull it when it's brown, saute the veggies in the chicken dripping, then add water (same amount as before) and simmer.

Taste both. Same ingredients, different method. Different taste.
Back to top
guest
Guest





PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:31 am    Post subject: re Reply with quote

to answer the original question about sauteing and soups. I think saute is a very overwrought term in common recipes, especially for soups. Sauteing will carmelize and change the color of your product which is often not the desired result. Most recipes would be better off to say 'sweat the veggies' but the average home-cook may not understand, so they say saute...

The thread of this discussion got off onto searing meat. I agree that it is a myth about locking in juices, but it seams that folks so far have only focused on the resulting taste. Well it does change the flavor of that outer layer of meat, but to me, more importantly, it changes the appearance and the texture into something much more desirable. It is true that we eat with our eyes. Texture and mouth feel vary from person to person, to me it is mightily important. Its why I love fresh mushrooms but cannot tolerate the canned variety...
Back to top
Guest






PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're trying to get a Malliard reaction with the veggies, but the problem is that the Malliard reaction usually needs a large amount of energy. If you try to cook in hot water or with steam, water will never exceed a certain temperature and so you won't be able to get Malliard reaction. However, when you saute something, you use oil, which allows the temperature to get high enough to reach the Malliard reaction.
Back to top
Jeff_Lin



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
You're trying to get a Malliard reaction with the veggies, but the problem is that the Malliard reaction usually needs a large amount of energy. If you try to cook in hot water or with steam, water will never exceed a certain temperature and so you won't be able to get Malliard reaction. However, when you saute something, you use oil, which allows the temperature to get high enough to reach the Malliard reaction.


Generally, the Maillard reaction requires 120C. However, you can obtain the Maillard reaction through aging as well. For example, in vintage champagne, the Maillard reaction is present, even though it was not heated to 120C; storing the champagne for several years compensates for the lack of heat. So, the Maillard reaction can take place without high temperatures, but you have to cook it for a *much* longer time.

This is the reason caramelized onions are sweeter than the regular; the proteins and amino acids to react with the sugar, aka the Maillard reaction. But to do so, it takes either a large amount of heat or a long time, and caramelized onions can only be cooked at low temperatures, or else they'll burn. That's why you need to cook it for about half an hour. (It's a pain in the ass, I know.)

And, since caramelized onions are quite sweet, they work well with all kinds of fruit. Sometimes, gourmet restaurants serve strawberry bisque with caramellized onions, or crepes with strawberries and caramelized onions. I've made crepes this way myself, and have to say that they're ambrosial.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
watt
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Generally, the Maillard reaction requires 120C. However, you can obtain the Maillard reaction through aging as well. For example, in vintage champagne, the Maillard reaction is present, even though it was not heated to 120C; storing the champagne for several years compensates for the lack of heat. So, the Maillard reaction can take place without high temperatures, but you have to cook it for a *much* longer time.

This is the reason caramelized onions are sweeter than the regular; the proteins and amino acids to react with the sugar, aka the Maillard reaction. But to do so, it takes either a large amount of heat or a long time, and caramelized onions can only be cooked at low temperatures, or else they'll burn. That's why you need to cook it for about half an hour. (It's a pain in the ass, I know.)


The 'Maillard reaction' (relating to food) is far too complex for generalizations. To give an average temperature for these reactions (maybe as many as 800 reactions in some instances) may give a false impression. Certainly, as Arrhenius has proved, reaction rate is affected by temperature, and as cooks, we know that the higher the temperature of the fat, the quicker the food is cooked (or burnt!).
The reason we fry food is to carry out this group of reactions, the results depending on temperature, water content and pH, to mention only three. But to say that generally the Maillard reaction needs 120C (or whatever you may read, as there are as many temperatures quoted as commentators) is misleading, and doesn't fit with the browning involved with braising, for example (usually at 100C because of the amount of water present).

As mentioned by others, browning of meat is a different matter (or can be). High temperatures tend to involve pyrolysis (makin' charcoal', as one person put it) while controlled cooking uses the Maillard reaction to good effect. Same with vegetables. Browning veg will provide the cook with 'roasted' flavours which will be completely lacking from a pure stewing process. As with meat, most (but not all) flavours are produced from the Maillard reactions, between amino groups and carbonyl groups, but not exclusively. Frying will produce the most flavour, stewing will produce far less, so browning the veg before stewing it will provide the best of both worlds. But it will depend on the result required, some soups will not want roasted flavours. Horses for courses, but unfortunately, ubiquitous sauteing is usually the norm!
just thoughts
watt
BTW, onions become sweet because the complex carbohydrates stored in the corm are being broken down to smaller sugar molecules.
[quote]
Back to top
Sausageman



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Ipswich, Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that people generally like the taste of food that they grew up eating.
I myself make food the way my Mother taught me, and I love it, so do my kids.
I have seen people that eat totally burnt BBQ'd sausages, which to me is crazy, but they love them.
Never mind this Maillard stuff, it is a learned thing from childhood experience that gives us our preferences.
So, as children we have each been "programmed", in respect of how our food is prepared and cooked, and we pass that on.
Sounds crazy, but true.

Mike.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
youngcook



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 97
Location: GA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You saute to sweeten and cook your veggies so that they will taste better. Raw veggies in a soup, for example, are the same as not ever cooking the veggies and eating them outside the soup. When you saute the malliard effect, ( eltonyo's myth) goes to work to sweeten your veggies and meats( which of course when you put meat in soups you will cook the meat unless you eat raw meat and want to be a case of salmonella poisoning and parasite infections which will eat your face off.) Big smile Enjoy.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> Recipes All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You can post new topics in this forum
You can reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group