La mise en place est un des plus importantes devoirs dans la cuisine et Restauration professionnelle. Mal fait, c'est la garantie des GROS problèmes...mais - a la maison qu'est-ce qu'on peut faire?
Mise en place (preparations) is one of the most important things to do in any professional kitchen or Restaurant, without it, guaranteed - nothing will work..! But what can one do at home...?
Mise en place (Vorbereitungen) ist eine die Wichtigsten Sachen im Professionelle bereich.
Ohne diese regeln zu folgen garantiert das ALLES schief gehen wird. Aber was kann Mann daheim machen...?
"Mise en place", meaning preparation or putting things in place, is extremely important. How many hours do you spend turning like a whirling dervish in you kitchen. That's because the MAN (it's generally a man - who never uses it) who designed it didn't have a clue, and would only be there in urgencies.... or to cash in on the fire insurance...!
In professional kitchens and Restaurants, it is a different thing. There, it tends to be male chefs who design their kitchens, and men don't like turning around and around...!
It's also extremely important when you've got a Cooking Brigade of 20, 30, or more Chefs and very few Indians, all roaring out orders, commands, transporting things, decorating things. There's no time to LOOK for something. To the layman, it is total chaos, but after a while, you see a very careful and planned system.
But...in the home kitchen...is it necessary?
Oh yes - it is! It's just different.
Yes, the same basics apply, where a fridge is placed, where a chopping board is placed, where the oven is placed - therefore where the gas and electricity points are placed - right from the beginning - important stuff when you think that to prepare a meal for a family, a well organised wife, in a well organised kitchen will walk around 3 to 4 kilometres...! A poorly organised - double - or more! But that has to be arranged before even cooking!
In our homes nowadays, we have all sorts of "helping hands" dishwashers, microwaves...and...and...and...We also have access to various preparations "already done", like conserves, frozen food products, even salad and lettuce pre-picked and pre washed..!
As one publicity campaign stated "It's not because it's already done that you needn't do anything..!"
That is true. Although the basics have been done, there is no reason why you shouldn't make it all even better, adjusting the taste, the texture, the shape, the ingredients of foods already "prepared", but to do that, you have to have "prepared" a little yourself - in advance.
For example - why not prepare a mixture of salt and pepper in a seperate container/shaker? Only for use in the kitchen, you avoid wasting time looking for salt and pepper - only restriction I would put on this is to try to use fresh pepper, out of a pepper mill, but if not - then mix them.
You're going to need "seasoned flour" at some stage - why not do it in a quantity, and keep it well sealed in a box or a tin? Same thing for the old bread...why buy breadcrumbs that won't be as good as your own, made from left overs... prepare your own fishstocks and meat stocks from the "debris" left over of skinning, boning, trimming and fileting - they are so much better, and can be kept in a freezer for a long time, even as "ice cubes" simple to seperate and use.
How about your own herbs - on the window sill - in boxes - parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, ciboulettes, mint...... - all fresh, all ready Decorative as well..!
Same thing with those oils you've got hidden away....Why not some cloves of garlic in the bottle, covered with oil, olive oil preferably, ready to give that touch of taste to your "aïolis", or anything else. Attractive and useful.
"Conserving" or "Freezing" is also a way to prepare - if you have access to large quantities of a certain product, like vegetables, fruit or other (like when "Papa" goes fishing) but those are not strictly speaking "preparation/mise en place" they are more ways of keeping a reserve, and I'll be dealing with that somewhere else.
These are only a few of many possibilities, give your imagination a "kick-start" - You'll find other - without doubt.
Here is an idea of a composition of fresh and often used Herbs which merit a place of honour in your kitchen area.
(with thanks to "Jilly Harrison" who you can find both on "Facebook" and here:
A little thought and you can turn almost anything into a meal worthy of an expert's table, all you have to do is "do something to something already prepared..."!
iwmpop (mrlemarquis) - Vauvert, France - Octobre 2010
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