Mise En Place: Supper Club Essential


mise en placeNothing is worse than savouring a good appetiser and then waiting another 45 minutes for your next course, particularly if you are a bit hungry.

This is where mise en place (pronounced mi zɑ̃ ˈplas) comes into play. It is a term I first heard at Le Cordon Bleu when I took a cuisine day course. It is a French phrase which literally means ‘putting in place’, a term and technic used in professional kitchens.  All your prep is done, ingredients are measured, chopped, cut, dried, and occasionally par-cooked, essentially it is being ready to just cook, very little or no additional prep needed. So below is a list of what I do in advance of a meal.

This is where mise en place (pronounced mi zɑ̃ ˈplas) comes into play. It is a term I first heard at Le Cordon Bleu when I took a cuisine day course. It is a French phrase which literally means ‘putting in place’, a term and technic used in professional kitchens.  All your prep is done, ingredients are measured, chopped, cut, dried, and occasionally par-cook

The Ready List – My Mise en Place

  • A comprehensive list of everything I will need, including garnish and potentially tableware.
  • Back-up course idea – Just in case the ingredients for the planned dish are not available
  • All ingredients cleaned, dried, cut, chopped, or whole, measured and put in a ramekins or bowls
  • All par-cooked ingredients done in advance and arranged as above – par-cooked items can include risotto, poached eggs, asparagus and other potentially time consuming items. Please note it is completely safe to par-cook some foods, in fact many if not all professional kitchens use this practice for certain dishes.
  • All equipment clean and in place, pots, pans, roasting trays, ladles, tasting spoons, etc. If you are short of space you can stack or arrange them in the order that you will use them.
  • Chopping boards in place as some ingredients need to be prepared in real-time as there may be adverse effects to the ingredient if prepared too far in advance; it becomes dry, becomes discoloured, etc.
  • Table fully set
  • Any short hand notes, typically in the form of sticky notes that I might need: two vegetarian meals, John has a nut allergy, etc.

This nifty little list streamlines everything, making the kitchen more efficient and allowing food to fly out of the kitchen fast. So if you don’t already do it, try mise en place. Let me know how it goes.

-Diana

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