Wow, can we really be half way through? That’s right, it’s day 10 of our 20-Day/20-Part series of blog posts titled “Tips, Tricks, and Secrets of Professional Chefs”. Last post, we talked about Giving Citrus a Roll.
Today let’s take a look at technique that we’ve talked about here before, and one that we incorporate into almost every hautemealz.com menu: Mise en Place.
Professional chefs use a system referred to as “mise en place” (meez n plaas) – or everything in place – to get their ingredients and tools organized and ready ahead of cooking time.
This means setting up your kitchen so that everything is within reach. The area where you do most of your prepping should have easy access to knives and measuring cups so that you’re not digging around for the stuff you need.
Things like having wooden spoons near your stove, where you’ll use them, instead of across the kitchen in a drawer; cutting board next to sink and disposal, knives near cutting board.
Also, prep your food, open any cans, pre-measure dry ingredients into small bowls (a bio-degradable paper cup, kept in with the sugar, flour, salt, rice, etc…works great and saves on clean-up too!) and clean and prep fresh herbs and veggies, etc.
With a proper mise en place, you should never have to stray for than a step or two from your cooking “station.”
I like to sit down with a recipe and read through it, making notes as to what tools I’ll need, and what ingredients I can prep, before “the curtain goes up.”
Trust me, not only is this is a HUGE time saver, but it also saves you from the frustration of finding yourself at that point in the recipe where those peeled and diced carrots have to go into the saute pan right now….except they’re still in the crisper, whole.
Oy. (Yes, we’ve all done it!)
Also, prepping each ingredient in advance makes it much easier to clean up and put things away after each step, rather than trying to do so while cooking, or dealing with a big mess afterwards.
As always, if you have any questions or tip, please feel free to post them, below.
At hautemealz.com, we’re all about helping busy families get back to the dinner table and share delicious, nutritious meals together, by helping you with the research, planning, and list-making that takes so much time…time that most of us just don’t have.
We create and personally test “real food” recipes for every night of the month, provide an easy-to-follow itemized grocery list for every week of the month, and offer constant support and training through our weekly newsletter, interactive blog, and social media sites…all for just $5.00 a month!
Classic, lighter-side, diabetic-friendly, and gluten-free meal plans in 2, 4, & 6 servings, are available.