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Old 05-03-2007, 01:14 PM   #1
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Mise en Place: Does anyone use this principle?

This is a French term meaning “everything in place”. I started to think about this practice after several recent blunders in our kitchens made it necessary to make last minute Web menu changes.

Most of our older recipes began the instruction section with a basic translation of Mise en Place like “Gather all ingredients and equipment”. Some of the staff felt it was demeaning and asked that it be left out of recipe revisions. It could be time to put it back.

I took a closer look at my own production technique and found I do gather my stuff but not usually to the extent of a TV cooking show. I have done the pre-measured ingredients each in a little container and it was so nice how the recipe can come together. Most of the times my small measure ingredients like herbs and spices are within easy reach and I measure when I add the ingredient. I have learned to not measure over the bowl or pan. I have had a teaspoon of salt turn into a much larger dose when the salt did an avalanche inside the box when tilted.

Happier cooking to all when you get your stuff together.


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Old 05-03-2007, 01:25 PM   #2
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I do mise en place. It makes the whole process easier for me. I write my recipes with lines separating groups of ingredients that are added together. I prep them the same way. i.e. I put onion, carrots and celery together in a container, or soy, wine and cornstarch together, etc.

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Old 05-03-2007, 01:27 PM   #3
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I use this method every single time I cook - it's just a habit and a good one to have!

It makes you go over the recipe and check every ingredient. It prevents one ingredient from over-cooking while you are rushing to chop the next.

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Old 05-03-2007, 01:29 PM   #4
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I don't know any professional chefs who do NOT use this method. And I don't know too many home cooks who DO. In fact, in many cooking classes when I present this concept I see several to many persons in the class having an "AHA!!" moment.

My mother, who was one of the best cooks I ever knew never heard of it... she would run about getting many of the ingredients when she reached them in the recipe. Later, when she was troubled by serious dementia and was still trying to bake chocolate chip cookies for Dad, I showed her how, if she put everything out on a big tray before she started and then set them off as she used them, she'd have less problem remembering whether or not she'd put everything into the bowl. It worked for a while.....
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:30 PM   #5
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I am a firm believer in the mise en place for the home kitchen. It is essential if food is on heat. Chopping an oinion or garlic while searing meat is asking for burnt rather than seared meat. Grating cheese or vegetables while keeping risotto moving in the pan is asking for scraped knuckles or worse. The mise en place is essential for complex recipes but makes even simple dishes come out better. Preparation is everything! And of course the professional chef knows the value of the mise.
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:42 PM   #6
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I started using it a few years ago.
Practice safe lunch. Use a condiment.
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:44 PM   #7
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there is no such thing as an organized workspace/kitchen if you do NOT use the mise en place technique. Work smarter, not harder.
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:50 PM   #8
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As an addendum, in addition to preparing mise en place, I line up the containers on the counter next to the stove in the order they are going to be used. That's a big help, especially with Asian dishes and wok cooking where things happen fast so there's no time to go back to the recipe for what's next.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:59 PM   #9
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Mise en Place: I watched a clip about daily life at the fire station: Gather all the ingredients needed to prepare a meal. Put away spices, butter, flour ....etc as you use them. Have a sink of dish water and wash or soak things after using them. When the meal is served, the kitchen is half decent and the cleanup is minimal.

This works pretty good for me. I also have a piece of paper & pen around so I can make a note for the grocery list or a recipe change.
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Old 05-03-2007, 02:03 PM   #10
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I ALWAYS do and can't remember when I didn't. I also practice "clean-up" as I go. I have a very small kitchen with very little counter space, which makes keeping clutter, etc. out of my way so I can cook effectively and efficiently.

"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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