What if I told you that there was a sure fire way to save yourself a headache, make prep safer, and potentially shorten your cook time? There is a simple practice that does just that. Mise en place, everything in its place.
This is a practice that shouldn’t even become a habit, it should become instinctual every time you cook a dish. It is the simple act of getting everything prepared ahead of time. Take your recipe, get out, and measure all of your ingredients and spices. If ingredients need diced, chopped, sliced, do this now and keep them nearby. This especially helps food safety, as you’re not rummaging through the cupboard looking for things mid cook, not risking cross contamination from contact with raw meats.
- Read the whole recipe
- Clear off your work area
- Gather all necessary ingredients and support materials
- Only after you have everything out, and cut, washed, measured to ordered, preheat your skillet, oven, or grill, and begin
Its also a great way to keep checks on your inventory. As you’re not pressed for time with something on a burner, you can note items you’re out of or running low on. While cooking, you can also speed up clean up, washing while boiling or simmering.
I personally like party shot glasses or Dixie cups, they’re great for holding spices and smaller amounts of ingredients. Paper plates are great for diced veggies, and especially for dry ingredients, being flexible you can pour with minimal mess.