Sautée [V. sah-tay] is a method of cooking food in a shallow pan over relatively high heat.
Food that is sautéed is usually cooked for relatively short periods of time in order to give it color and flavor. Sautéeing differs from searing in that food is cooked in the process of sautéeing it and one may sear simply to cook the outer juices and color the meat before another process is used to cook the inside. The common fat used in sautéeing is olive oil because it will not burn as quickly as pure butter. Clarified butter or other oils are sometimes used.