Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Hate Mices to Pieces!

Parles vous a humma humma? Mice en place is a French term meaning, "mice do not belong in my place." Not really!!! It's a term used to describe preparing ingredients for a dish before actually cooking the dish. It literally means, "to put in place."

I can't tell you how many times that I've forgotten to prepare an ingredient for a dish and then found myself needing that ingredient post haste....right now!!! Well, that problem is easily solved by utilizing mice en place.

I have a number of small stainless steel bowlettes(is that a word? I think not!) into which I put ingredients as I prepare them. You'll notice in the photo that the bowlettes are filled with spices and herbs that are at the ready, in this case, for my homemade winter marinara sauce. I typically put chopped/diced veggies onto one plate.

Now, don't misundertake me here. If I need to saute' veggies at the start of preparation and then have other steps later, I might use mice en place in stages. One for veggies, then one for meats and other ingredients that are added later. That way, I'm more efficient and not simply standing around while waiting for the veggies to saute'. I'll let them saute' while preparing the second mice en place.

I believe that one of the most common mistakes made is to not pre-heat the oven and/or burner. At least it is for me!! I get things prepped and then turn on the stove burner or oven. OOPS!!!

So anyhoo, prepare your ingredients before you start cooking and pre-heat that pan or pot or oven before you do anything and you'll be a happier cook!

Be well, eat well, love well & live long!

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