A Little Lesson – Mise en place

January 30, 2010

For some reason this last week, Mistress Sandra seemed to be concerned about her Mise en place (or lack thereof…)… I’m not sure why her interest in this has come about, but I’m guessing it must have been something mentioned by her new beau Tony…

At any rate, it’s a subject that seems to be common sense, but overlooked by many (of not most) home cooks, so lets discuss… there may be a quiz later, so take notes…

Mise en place (pronounced MEEZ ahn plahs, or something along those lines) is French for “putting in place” (or “to put in place”). In the cooking world, it refers to having all your ingredients ready (peeled, chopped, toasted, etc. as needed), pans, bowls or any other cooking tools and implements of culinary destruction at hand and ready to go before beginning to cook… duhhh… in other words, get your sh*t together…

So, read your recipe(s), be sure you have everything ready before the food hits the pan… if you need to chop onions, mince ginger or garlic, whatever, go ahead and get it done and place the results in the order they will be used. Same with any seasoning or sauces… get everything out and in place… now is the time you’ll find out if you’re missing something and need to make the mad dash to the local Piggly-Wiggly (or locate a suitable substitute)… if you wait until the cooking begins, well, you may be SOL…

This is especially important with certain dishes like a stir-fry or something that must have constant attention like the roux I made last night for gumbo (oops… was planning on that being a surprise recipe for you later… guess the dish is now out of the bag…). If you try and slice that celery while the rest of the ingredients are getting happy, you’re going to scorch something, or at least overcook everything else…

So “be prepared”… do your Mise en place… now where is that damn spoon???

Okay – no test (yet at least). But here are a couple of links:

http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ciq-mise-en-place.shtml

http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/mis_en_place.htm

One Response to “A Little Lesson – Mise en place”


  1. […] easy dish, as long as you get all you chopping done first (as you should… remember your mise en place…) if comes together pretty quickly… and it’s pretty darn tasty […]

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