With the holidays rapidly approaching it is very important for a Foodie to be prepared in the kitchen. When working professionally there are many tips and secrets that we use to make the sheer volume of cooking easier to manage. This allows you to pay more attention to the small details and, of course, your guests.
Mise-en-place [miz on plas] is a French term that simply means “putting in place.” This term is used in the industry to describe all the components you might need during the course of your shift to create a variety of different menu items. This same concept can be easily used in your kitchen at home when you are preparing a large meal and or several large meals for a lot of people.
Chopped vegetables such as onions, garlic, celery, and carrots should be prepared in batches. This is a very efficient way to process your recipes ingredients and will save a great deal of time. For instance If you take all of the recipes you plan on making and add the ingredients together you might find that you need 10-12 onions peeled. The same theory can be applied to potatoes, carrots, and garlic.
From there, you can process each respective vegetable in the various manners needed such as diced, minced, julienned, etc. This does not only work for veggies. You can certainly apply this method to other ingredients such as herbs, roasted garlic, stocks, and spice blends. This week I will try to share a few tips and ideas for optimizing your time this holiday season so you have more time for family and friends. After all, that’s what it’s all about.