Mise en place literally means “putting in place”. In culinary context, the term is a French phrase referring to having all of your ingredients ready, to prepare a dish. This means you need to review the recipe start to finish and check for ingredients and equipment.
When setting up mise en place, the ingredients are washed, measured, chopped and placed into individual bowls. It includes pre-heating the oven and taking out your tools and appliances. If you are a fan of cooking shows, you will see this on many of the programs. This allows you the time to make the recipe without having to stop and find an ingredient. It saves you time and helps reduce stress. When you read through a recipe you realize that sometimes it requires marinating time, or various steps to complete at the same time. Other things you should prepare are a clean workspace and of course clean as you go (which I’m not very good at) 🙂
I often get asked how to get many dishes done at the same time so you can serve a hot meal and sit down and enjoy it yourself. I would say that “mise en place” is the answer. If you prepare your necessary ingredients and tools, the cooking process will be much quicker and more enjoyable. It may even mean that you will challenge yourself with some new recipes!