Breaking it Down: “Mise en place”

I have watched hours of the big guys doing their thing, mostly on the Food network, but also on other channels. I told you it is my hobby to read recipes and watch the pros, then make their tips, ideas, and recipes my own. I make them work for me. That has meant asking “What does THAT mean?” and asking it a lot. LOL

So when I heard the phrase ‘ricing the cauliflower’ to make the cauliflower pizza crust, I had to research and figure that out. As I explained, that meant breaking the cauliflower into small bits, like rice. It can be done with a food processor, a Ninja (my pulverizer of choice), a food mill, or good old fashioned chopping…and lots of it!

So I thought I might spend some of my down days… when my plans are already in place… to offer some simple tips to demystify those phrases. Today I have planned leftovers ~ a pot of chicken noodle soup. Soup and panini sandwiches will make a perfect meal on a cold nasty weather day.

So… phrase of the day to demystify: Mise en place (pronounced ‘meez on plahss’)

A chef will often talk about mise en place when starting to prepare a meal. Not knowing what that means wouldn’t interfere with you following along, but it’s so simple. This is a French phrase that basically translates as having “everything in place” to get started cooking. Watch a cook who uses the phrase and they will be gathering the ingredients for the dish they are preparing. The beauty of mise en place is that you have everything within reach. You won’t have to stop and go search for something in the middle of cooking.

Understanding what the chefs are saying when you watch will make the experience more instructive. I love when chefs don’t just cook, but also give tips and tricks to make the recipe great.

So, next time you start cooking, look at the ingredients list. It will help you gather and get your ‘mise en place.’  Right now I am going to grab the Brussels sprouts I picked up yesterday, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. That and cooking spray to prepare my dish and all of my “mise” will be “en place” for lunch! 😉

Keep cooking… and always, ENJOY!