Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mise en place, huh?

I've not been doing a lot of cooking lately, I got a couple of new cookbooks on my Kindle and have been having fun reading recipes, bookmarking them and planning out some cooking.   But, one of the cookbooks made note of the fact that you have to plan, and I do.   But there is a very specific term for planning in a kitchen. 
Mise en place.
Sounds pretty fancy, don't it?     Mise en place is French for 'putting in place', and pretty much every professional kitchen has everything organized so that the recipe ingredients are all at hand and prepped, which means onions chopped, meat trimmed, etc.   Which means, no one is searching for anything at the last minute.  Ovens are usually turned on, pans ready to go, water boiling if needed for pasta's or potato's or ...

Now, I'm not always that organized, but I try.   I get out all the ingredients for a recipe, put them all in place and take a picture of them for this blog.    Like this, the ingredients for Sildesalat all in one place.
Sildesalat ingredients

Which I have to say has helped me to become better organized, really it has.    I try to read through not only the ingredients for a recipe, but also make note of the oven temperature if necessary, cook times, any special pots, pans, everything.   I've lately gotten used to using my glasses when reading a recipe. 

I mean, just cause I read flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas, does not mean I have a problem.  They were still tortillas.   So now I double check, mostly.    

By having your ingredients all together you're not hunting up anything at the last minute or three.  Especially if you're cooking something like Shrimp, which we all know can get over cooked the minute your attention is drawn away.

Go ahead and chop, and trim and measure to your hearts' content.   That way you know you  have all the ingredients together.
Ingredients for Chicken Piccata
So you can go ahead and finish preparing.   Prep work is key.   By having the lemons sliced, the chicken cut into cutlets, the parsley chopped, I was ready that day to make my  Chicken Piccata.
Chicken Piccata
And yes, I had a pot of water boiling so all I had to do was drop in the Bowtie Pasta, and let it cook.

Easy peasy.   or is that

 Mise en Place.







Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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