Have you ever watched a cooking show and heard the chef mention “mise en place”? I’m sure the first time you heard it you thought what in the world is that – I know I did. In french the phrase means “putting in place” or “everything in its place.”
In cooking the best way to describe this is to prep everything before starting to cook. For example, the photo above shows my prep work to make Italian Meat Loaf from the Cooking Light Complete cookbook. (One of my favorite cookbooks – review coming soon)! I took the list of all the ingredients and measured everything out. This included dicing onions, and soaking and chopping the sundried tomatoes. Once I had all the ingredients ready to go I was able to quickly assemble the meat loaf and didn’t need to stop to look for any ingredients or measure them out.
Many recipes have steps that require dicing, chopping, pre-cooking or even freezing (chicken cordon bleu) before you can start the main cooking. When you focus on mise en place you are able to have everything ready to go for the moment you need them.
Using the mise en place method is especially important for those who aren’t as confident in the kitchen as it allows them to be fully prepared for the next step in the recipe.
Try it out and let me know how it works out for you. The measured out ingredients make this tasty and healthy meatloaf from Cooking Light Complete Cookbook. Check out my review of it here.
Has using mise en place helped make your cooking easier and better?