I thought I would share with you one of my favorite cooking prep tips known as Mise En Place. It is a french term that translates to “everything in its place”. I first learned about this at a cooking class I went to a few years ago and the chef talked about how having all your ingredients measured and laid out in the correct measurements BEFORE starting a recipe can make or break the meal. As defined by Wikepedia, Mise En Place is explained as:
“Recipes are reviewed to check for necessary ingredients and equipment. Ingredients are measured out, washed, chopped, and placed in individual bowls. Equipment, such as spatulas and blenders, are prepared for use, and ovens are preheated. Preparing the mise en place ahead of time allows the chef to cook without having to stop and assemble items, which is desirable in recipes with time constraints”.
I have to say this simple strategy has made cooking dinners on hectic nights so much easier. Having everything laid out by the stove ready to add to the pan makes cooking quicker, simpler, and ultimately more successful. We all have experienced being in the middle of a recipe only to realize you have to chop something up while the garlic and onion are over cooking on the stove…often it can ruin your meal. I use those small Pyrex glass dishes to measure ingredients beforehand now most days I cook. It’s become a habit and even though you may think it takes too much time, I find it actually makes the cooking process go so much smoother and faster. Then I line them all up right before starting a recipe- just like the cooking shows!
So next time you start a recipe try doing Mise En Place! You will be pleasantly surprised how a little bit of prep can give you big rewards!