Sometimes it’s not so much the cooking part that really feels overwhelming, but the massive clean up that has to happen afterwards that makes dining out look so much more appealing.
That’s because, we at home, don’t do what virtually every restaurant kitchen around the world does, and that’s prep and clean as we go. It sounds easier said than done, but the French technique known as mise-en-place, which translates to “put in place,” can transform the way you cook in your kitchen.
“If I had to boil it down, the three things we can take from restaurant cooks are more butter, more salt, and prepare your materials before you start cooking.”
—Sam Sifton, cofounder of The New York Times’ Cooking recipe site
Mise-en-place is simply the practice of gathering all the ingredients and utensils you need to prepare the meal before cooking, and then systematically putting items away and cleaning dishes and workstation as you cook.
So, next time you’re preparing to make a meal, it might not be a bad idea to pretend you’re hosting your own cooking show.
Line up all the ingredients in front of you. Slice, cut and prep all the items you need and put the rest away.
Clean the cutting boards and bowls as you no longer need them, and watch how much faster and easier your meal gets made, and without that hellish clean up afterwards.
Practice the mise-en-place technique with one of my favorite soup recipes, found here.