Meal of The Week

CHEF JOHN SPEAKS

Version 2

MIS-EN-PLACE

BECAUSE I TAUGHT MYSELF TO COOK IN A TINY KITCHEN I DEVELOPED HABITS WHICH HAVE ME SERVED ME WHEREVER I COOK.  WITH COUNTER SPACE AT A PREMIUM, I QUICKLY LEARNED TO CLEAN UP AS I GO ALONG. EVEN FOR THOSE WITH THE LUXURY OF LARGE KITCHENS WITH ISLANDS AND WORK TABLES AND ENDLESS COUNTER SPACE, PREP WORK TENDS TO TAKE PLACE IN A RELATIVELY SMALL AREA, SO WHETHER YOU’RE DICING AN ONION, BREADING A CHICKEN THIGH OR CHOPPING HERBS, IT’S SMART TO CLEAN UP YOUR “WORK STATION” AS THEY SAY IN PROFESSIONAL KITCHENS AS YOU GO ALONG. 

MORE RECENTLY, I’VE TAKEN TO CREATING MY OWN MIS-EN-PLACE WHEN I COOK.  THE TERM WHICH TRANSLATES TO “PUT IN PLACE” IS SIMPLY BOWLS OF INGREDIENTS SUCH AS DICED ONIONS, LEMON ZEST, AND CHOPPED HERBS WHICH EACH LINE COOK NEEDS TO PREPARE SEVERAL DISHES OVER THE COURSE OF THE SERVICE.  AT HOME IT’S A GREAT WAY TO ORGANIZE YOUR COOKING.  I DO IT WHEN I MAKE A LAMB STEW OR FINISHING PAN-COOKED SWORD FISH WITH CHERRY TOMATOES AND SHALLOTS.  AND WITH EVERYTHING YOU NEED ORGANIZED IN SMALL STAINLESS STEEL BOWLS, CLEANING UP IS A BREEZE.  YOU’VE ALREADY DONE IT.   

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