Cooking Tip Thursdays: The Mise En Place

Cooking Tip Thursdays is dedicated to making time in the kitchen quicker, easier, and just plain better….


Mise en place [MEEZ ahn plahs], the French term meaning “everything in its place”, is the key to successful cooks and chefs all over the world.  The idea is to have all the ingredients necessary for a dish prepared and ready to combine up to the point of cooking.  It is the ultimate kitchen organizer and time-saver.

In a professional kitchen, all the meats, chicken, and fish are prepped and de-boned, the fresh herbs are washed, cut, and separated into small bowls, the sauces are in containers and the vegetables are sliced and diced – everything is ready to go because once you start, there is no going back.  The same should hold true for the home. There’s nothing worse than jumping into a recipe, only to find you are either missing one of the key ingredients or that you’ve missed a crucial step.  Who hasn’t almost burnt garlic while trying to quickly chop the next ingredient to go into the pan?  The end result: frustration and wasted time.  Incorporating the simple concept of Mise en place into your preparation process will transform your cooking experience to an efficient, timesaving, and enjoyable one.  Plus, it will guarantee the necessary ingredients and tools are right at your fingertips.

* This is especially useful when preparing more than one recipe.

  • Prepare your workspace; a clean kitchen with an empty dishwasher and uncluttered countertops is always a great way to start.
  • Read the entire recipe thoroughly and pull out the ingredients you will need.
  • Preheat the oven and prepare your pans.
  • Get any equipment that may be needed out; spatulas, food processors, etc…
  • Wash, cut and pre-measure all ingredients and put into small bowls.  Set the bowls on a tray to easily transport them to the cooking area. Or you can use a muffin tin.  Just pre-measure and put into each section of the tin and you’ve only got one item to wash. 


DK

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