Thanks to the lovely little mini prep bowls that I received for my birthday, I’ve been able to start practicing the time honored tradition of TV chefs everywhere: mise en place. Literally meaning “everything in place,” it’s the ultimate chef religion to have all of the ingredients ready for to be cooked, and also the ultimate luxury when cooking dinner. I once heard Martha chastize an employee on her set for not “PAM-ing” the bowls prior to usage so that the ingredients slipped right out. I forget who the celebrity guest was, but when Martha replied, “Everyone knows you need to grease your prep bowls,” you could hear a collective chuckle as the audience knew that wasn’t an item of common knowledge.
When I prepared the Asian Noodle Soup the other night, I decided to pull out the prep bowls and do what needed to be done. I must say it made cutting and cleanup easier, and it seemed to make the “cooking” part a bit less hectic. I’m famous for misreading a key ingredient and mis-measuring, so I think this method of cooking might increase my ratio of successful recipes. If not, at least it’s fun to decide what color bowl my limes will go in!
How about you…. do you practice “mise en place” or just go with the flow?