Originally Posted by Robo410
prepare your mise en place
get ready...everything in its place, and mentally ready as well...know your recipe and the steps involved. then...GO!
That has become very important to me since I've gotten so stove up. It really helps to get organized.
I have to do lots of things sitting at the counter. If I have vegies to chop, I put down a newspaper to catch scraps and get out my Rachel Ray garbage bowl, lined with a plastic grocery bag. I prep them for washing and throw into the colander, wash and let drain a minute, then put the colander on my counter with a towel underneath, and sit and chop at my leisure, putting the different ingredients on cheap paper plates. After the vegies are done, I prep my meats, then wash the cutting board right away so the bacteria don't have time to multiply.
It's amazing how fast and efficient the cooking will go after the prep work.
Another use for the cheap paper plates...they make a fine spoon rest. When you're done, just pitch in the garbage.
Here are some more ideas:
*Keep a bowl of soapy water in the sink and clean up as you go along, so you won't be faced with a sink full of dirty dishes and goo all over the kitchen.
*Keep a small bottle of Clorox under your kitchen sink for sanitizing cutting boards and the like. A capful in your soapy water will help kill the varmints.
*keep a supply of garbage bags in the bottom of your garbage cans, under the bag in use. Then all you have to do is take the full one out and pull a new one up.
*If you're cooking a pasta dish that calls for blanched vegies, throw the vegies in with the pasta during the last few minutes of cooking. It saves washing another pot.
*If you need to sweat onions or other vegetables for a dish that won't be cooked in the same pan, put in a glass measuring cup with lipid of your choice and cook in the microwave.
*Pre-cook your ground beef or sausage in the microwave. Use a bowl, and cover with a sheet of waxed paper to prevent splatters. Often, you can drain the meat and put right back in the same bowl with additional ingredients for finishing in the nuke or the oven.
*Cook enough meat to use for one or two more meals. For instance, if you're grilling chicken, make extra to be used for a different dish the next night.
*Utilize all your leftovers as much as possible. Some of your most creative cooking will come out of using what you have on hand.
And finally, echoing the above advice, enjoy yourself. Your cooking is an act of love for your friends and family.