Mise en place
Can I group ingredients that are to be added together in a bowl, instead of having separate bowl for each of the veggies, spices, etc? If of course they are to be added together. I wasn't sure if any of the flavors would mix too much if I did so, or if it is a perfectly acceptable way to conserve dishes and reduce clean-up.
When ingredients DON'T go in at the same time, use cupcake papers in a muffin tin or egg carton for your mise en place. No clean-up. Also good for holding sprinkles, dragees, etc., when making decorated cookies cupcakes, and ice cream cones.
I do as Cheesecake 17 does when prepping vegetables, but a step further. I line the large bowl with a plastic produce bag, and instead of wax paper between layers I use basket-style coffee filters. So there's not even a bowl to rinse out.
Thanks for everyone's replies. I didn't have a specific menu in mind, I was just thinking.
For spices, if I don't put everything in one bowl, I use one large plate and put them in little heaps.
And cheesecake...that IS a great idea. I may borrow it!
I'm assuming that all the cooking shows that show the dozen little clear bowls all over the place are mostly for show? (is that every way the word "show" can be used?) :)
No, I don't think it's for show, E_M. I think it's to help the viewers who might not think about mise to perhaps encourage them to do so. I have about 8 flow blue butter pats that are about 2" across that I use for mise all the time - easy to quickly rinse off and restack for next use. I also use small metal bowls that hold about 2 Tbsp. of liquid. I don't find it a bother to quickly wipe them clean. Although I do combine spices/herbs/liquids into one dish to make it easier to add all at once.
definitely.. best way to go about prepping for a recipe. everything is in it's place and you won't forget to add the celery when you add the carrots.. and you dont have tons of small bowls cluttering the countertop.
to go even further.. i layer ingredients in a large bowl- longest cooking on top- and layer waxed paper in between each layer. cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
If you get more specific, you will get a better answer. For instance, when chopping vegetables for a mirepoix it would be silly to not put them in the same bowl or plate since they get cooked together. As for spices, if they are getting added at the same time, sure you can add them to the same bowl, however I find that it is helpful to not do this in case you get interrupted and don't remember where you left off in the recipe.
Absolutely. Altho you might want to measure things into a separate container first so that if you have spillover you can just remove excess rather than having to pitch other ingredients and start over.
Even things like curry blends that do develop intensity over time don't start doing that until a wet ingredient is introduced.