Monday, June 6, 2011

Mise en Place Essentials

People who cook or bake are always talking about mise en place & everyone knows that it means to put in place.  As someone who cooks & bakes on a daily basis, I like to have an easy mise en place cabinet with a few of my must-haves within easy reach.  The last thing I need when I'm in the middle of preparing a recipe, is finding out that I've completely omitted something.  If you're well organized and you chop, dice, slice, grate, mince & measure everything ahead of time, you'll be spared many a headache.  Take a look at how I organize the basic food preparation essentials that I frequently use in my kitchen. 

 
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Tempered glass bowls are a basic necessity in the kitchen.  They can handle both boiling hot & freezing cold temperatures.  I have bowls that hold from 1 cup to a capacious 7 quarts.  You should have several of these, they aren't expensive.

 

Liquid measuring cups are also essential.  These are not meant to be used for measuring solids.  The large stainless steel pitchers can hold up to 8 cups and the smallest ones measure in tablespoons.  This shelf also has funnels in various widths.

 

 Some more mise en place essentials.  Stainless steel measuring bowls in different sizes are a must.  I like having these because in a pinch they can serve as double boilers.  The large earthenware batter bowls are used to hold & proof bread doughs. 

 

Here is the cabinet itself.  Not a lot of room, but everything has its place.

 
The mise en place cabinet.



Any well-stocked kitchen, whether it's a commercial or residential one, should have a variety of prep bowls and measuring cups.  These don't cost a lot of money and they're very easy to care for.  Having several of these essentials at your disposal and dedicating a single area for them, will make any food preparation an effortless & streamlined process.  The best materials for mixing bowls are stainless steel, tempered glass, porcelain & earthenware.  I tend to stay away from plastic ones because they absorb flavors and odors; they're very difficult to keep absolutely grease-free.  You'll notice that I like to stack my bowls in order to save space and many come as nesting sets.  If you're thinking of what to buy those newlyweds or are attending a housewarming party, why not gift a set of mixing bowls?  One can never have too many of them and they will always come in handy.  Have fun organizing! 

 
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