Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Need a Drink

I'll be honest. Lately, I have been losing my cool when cooking. I try very hard to have all my elements of dinner ready at the same time, so nothing gets cold while waiting for everything else to be done. But, three times recently I have been making dinner and time it so everything is done, but my main course is taking longer than expected. Last Sunday it was turkey meatloaf, Friday night it was my pork chops, tonight it was my salmon. Maybe it is my OCD or maybe it is low blood sugar, but it just makes me lose my mind. So here I sit with a Kahlua and skim milk, my version of a chill pill, trying to calm down.


  1. Laura,

    I have spent the past several years in the Food & Beverage industry around the Disney resort in Anaheim, CA. Working my way up from a prep cook to lead line cook to F&B Manager. I feel your frustration and applaud you on your solution. Chill, calm down. Here is a system that we use in the industry to make sure everything is plated and ready to go at the same time.

    Mise en place (pronounced [miz ɑ̃n plas], literally "put in place") is a French phrase defined by the Culinary Institute of America as "everything in place", as in set up. It is used in professional kitchens to refer to the ingredients, such as cuts of meat, relishes, sauces, par-cooked items, spices, freshly chopped vegetables, and other components that a cook requires for the menu items that they expect to prepare during their shift.

    Recipes are reviewed, to check for necessary ingredients and equipment. Ingredients are measured out, washed, chopped and placed in individual bowls. Equipment such as spatulas and blenders are prepared for use, while ovens are preheated. Preparing the mise en place ahead of time allows the chef to cook without having to stop and assemble items, which is desirable in recipes with time constraints.

    It also refers to the preparation and layouts that are set up and used by line cooks at their stations in a commercial or restaurant kitchen.

    Hope this is of use.
    Relax and Chill.


  2. Thanks for the tips. I am actually familiar with mise en place. My problem hasn't been with the prepping stage, but with my main course taking longer to cook than expected.

    But hey, it was my first time making the dishes, so it will just take a little practice to perfect them.