Mise en Place – Preparing to Make Your Delicious Food Creation!
Have you ever received a phone call in the middle of mixing cake batter or cookie dough? Question to self – Did I put the salt/baking soda/baking powder in yet? Heaven knows you can’t tell by looking into all the white stuff in your bowl!
Have you ever jumped right into a recipe, only to find out you are missing one or more of the key ingredients? Perhaps you decide to chop the garlic while the onions are sautéing. Further down the recipe you discover another step which needs to be done before the onions and garlic overcook. The result: frustration, stress, and wasted time. Think about this fact – It doesn’t take any longer to prepare all your ingredients BEFORE you start your recipe!
Let’s dig into this. What makes the cooking process on those cooking shows and restaurant kitchens seem so effortless?
Successful home cooks and professional chefs all over the world apply a concept known as Mise en Place (MEEZ-ahn-plahs). The French definition means “everything in its place,” and it is a culinary term that refers to preparing and pre-measuring ingredients ahead of time. However, Mise en Place is more than just a term; it can be a way of life in your kitchen, starting today!
I also believe that as we age and want to try new recipes, it is an essential function.
Mise en Place involves several steps which will insure the necessary ingredients and tools are at your fingertips. The actual cooking process will be much quicker, smoother and more enjoyable!
Read the entire recipe. Read it again. Find the ingredients and equipment you will need and place them on your countertop.
Prepare the workspace.
• Start with a clean kitchen.
• Empty the dishwasher and remove unnecessary items off the counter tops.
Do the prep.
• Preheat the oven, prepare pans, etc.
• Chop, dice, grate, and sift; pre-measure ingredients and put into small bowls. Set the bowls on a tray to easily transport them to the cooking area.
Clean as you go. This is a very important part!
Incorporating the simple concept of Mise en Place into your preparation process will transform your cooking experience to a more efficient and enjoyable one. You don’t want to be the one who makes the chocolate chip cookies without the salt, believe you me!
The picture above is an example of my “mise en place” right before I started working on my recipe for my delicious Blueberry Muffins!