Do you see yourself as an undiscovered Masterchef in the kitchen? You are probably one of the 13% of Americans who have a strong passion for cooking. But don’t let that talent go to waste by using amateur techniques.
When fine-tuning your culinary skills, you first need to learn the lingo. Take techniques such as mise en place, for example. “Mise on what?” you ask.
Don’t worry. We are here to demystify some of the most common and impressive professional skills to learn in your future cooking endeavor.
What is Mise en Place?
You’ve probably guessed that the term Mise en Place comes from the culinary capital of the world: France.
When translated, mise en place means to put in place or gather, referring to kitchen organization. Specifically, it means getting your worktop prepared with the right ingredients before you start cooking.
You’ll see TV chefs use this technique frequently. When adding multiple ingredients to a dish, the ingredients will sit neatly chopped next to their mixing bowl or hot pan.
You might wonder why a chef would get everything prepared in advance rather than preparing food as they go.
But the principle of Mise en Place is that you’ll excel in what you are cooking when you create the perfect kitchen setup from the start.
Carefully and beautifully preparing and laying out your ingredients on a kitchen work bench is vital in creating the perfect dish.
Other Professional Cooking Techniques
Mise en Place is one of many professional techniques you’ll need to learn to become an impressive tour-de-force in your home kitchen. Here are some other terms you might want to know.
Most home cooks have a favorite knife. But regularly used knives lose their sharp edge. That makes food more difficult to cut, and prep work takes longer.
Blunt knives also make your presentation look far from professional (think of a messily cut tomato instead of a beautifully shaped one).
The simple routine top chefs use to avoid this situation is to sharpen their knives before every cooking shift in a restaurant. It should be one of your first steps when setting up and preparing to create your dish.
Season and Taste
All good chefs season the food with salt (and sometimes pepper) as they are creating a dish. More importantly, a professional chef will taste the food as they are cooking to ensure it is perfectly seasoned and not over or under-salted.
Here’s a helpful tip if you accidentally add too much salt to your dish. Add a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar. The acid will help to counter the saltiness of the food.
Don’t Skimp on the Butter
Generous amounts of butter will make most dishes taste delicious. Add it to meats when frying, and add it to vegetables to bring plenty of flavor to the plate. Lots of butter is also a must to make the perfect risotto.
Create Some Flair With Your Home Cooking
You don’t need years of training in a top Michelin restaurant to create delicious dishes at home. You can create a signature masterpiece by improving some of your basic cooking skills and learning techniques like mise en place.
For the perfect dining event, why not get some inspiration on how to decorate your dining space by exploring our home and garden section?