Begin Cooking with Mise En Place
Mise en place means: set up; installation, position; or setting up.
There may not be a consensus as to the exact meaning but the concept of careful preparation before you cook remains an important one. Although you may not have known there was a term for it, the process for finding all your ingredients before starting to cook insures that you have what you need on hand. Preparing ingredients before beginning the dish means you are ready to add each ingredient and will not be caught on a step unprepared.
Watch a cooking demonstration or a food TV show and you will see Mise en place in action. Each ingredient is measured and waiting in its own little glass dish.
At home, it is not necessary to use a ton of individual dishes. What is important, is taking the steps to organize your ingredients. Each dish you make will have a much higher chance of success if you learn Mise en place.
How to Have Mise En Place in Your Home Kitchen:
Begin with a clean area in which to prepare your dish.
Fill a sink with warm soapy water so that you are organized to clean as you cook instead of creating a big mess for the end.
Read through the entire recipe.
Preheat the oven or grill, if required.
Gather necessary pan and tools.
Grease or prepare any pans.
Lay out all of your ingredients.
Prepare your ingredients, such as chopping vegetables, before beginning to cook.
Mise en place ingredients
Laying out all of your ingredients, as I have done for this Cumin Roasted Broccoli, insures that you have everything at hand before beginning to cook.
Measuring your ingredients, and placing them in small bowls helps you follow the recipe accurately and makes cooking smooth.
Measure each ingredient. You can certainly use individual bowls, like a chef does during a demonstration, or just use one bowl for each step of the recipe. You can place anything that goes into the dish, at that step, into one bowl. In this method, you would have a bowl for each step rather than one for each ingredients.
Time and temp label
When preparing a dish ahead, note the cooking time and temperature on the dish. This is especially helpful when entertaining or preparing multiple dishes.
If preparing the dish in advance, take one final step. Add the cooking time and temperature to the prepared dish.
For more information, check out Linda Stradley’s article: What Is A Recipe – Mise en Place.
Author Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites. She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.
Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier. The bonus is it often leads to saving money. Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.
Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.
Categories:Cooking Lessons - Cooking 101 Kitchen Organization
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