Mise En Place

Mise En PlaceIf there is one thing that can create a disaster while cooking, it is not being prepared.
Cooking is not just about reading a recipe.
You have to make sure that you have right equipment, the right ingredients and the right environment.
In culinary school there was a term that was repeated over and over by all of the professors that truly resonated in my brain and has helped me tremendously with my cooking. ”Mise En Place” a French saying that translates to everything in its place!

Cooking is not brain surgery; however, think about it…you would definitely want your brain surgeon to have his …mise en place!!!
With that said, there are few things you will need to get into your mindset prior to cooking.
This is a two part process… the preparation part and the timing part.

Part One

Are the ovens and pans I need preheated?
Do I have all of my ingredients?
Do I have all of the necessary kitchen tools & utensils laid out and ready for use?
Have I read and understood the recipe fully?

Here are some tips to consider. Read the recipe 2-3 days before and pre prep. Chop, dice or thaw in advance to make cooking easier. Cleanup is also easier when you spread the chores out over a couple of days. Plan your menus in advance using similar ingredients to allow you to cross utilize products and not waste leftovers. Some of the best meals are made using leftovers! Here’s an example:
Roasted Chicken & Roasted Potatoes for dinner today, leftovers for tomorrow is Pulled Chicken & Cheesy Potato Burritos. It doesn’t stop there…save those bones and make chicken stock….freeze it and use it whenever you need it. There is no better stock than homemade, and the house smells delish!

Part Two

Have a game plan for what step happens and when.
Follow the directions.
Pay attention.
Taste!!!

Timing!!!! This is the hardest part. Cooking is very visual and too much or too little time can truly make or break the final result. There are a lot of things going on at the same time. If coordinated correctly amazing things are created! Here are some things to keep in mind…how hot is the heat…to high or too low. Pay attention, never ever walk away always keep your eye on the prize! No two chickens or potatoes are the same…they need to be seasoned to taste. So don’t think that if you follow the recipe exactly you will always get the same result, taste as you go and put some love into every dish!
With this advice, you can cook EVERYTHING! Cooking great is easy if you prepare yourself for success! Good Luck!

Mise En Place