Sunday, May 3, 2009
mise en place [MEEZ ahn plahs]
mise en place is a French culinary term that means you have prepped all of your ingredients and prepared your kitchen before cooking. if you grew up before the onslaught of round the clock real-time cooking shows, you might remember the beautiful array of little glass prep bowls of days past that made cooking seem like it was entirely an act of wizardry, magically in one oven and out the other...amazing! of course you knew someone had painstakingly minced that garlic and pre-baked that casserole, but cooking was neat, simple, and still looked fun!
of course, i don't always do it. it dirties lots of little bowls for someone else to wash. but when i do i find cooking highly satisfying and unflustered. it feels like the "right" way. not that anyone eating your food knows whether you went through this process. in fact, that person eating your food might grow increasingly worried after 30 minutes of prep and "you still haven't started cooking, yet?" but when the prep is fini, the cooking goes smoothly and often more quickly.
Springtime Eggs Benedict with Wild Greens and Mushrooms from Cooking with Shelburne Farms was a recipe that required preparedness, and i was happy to oblige!