Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mis En Place Party!

I needed to spice up my cooking life- and Ronna (of Purple Kale Kitchenworks) was just the lady to set me on my next steps. I, like many people I know, struggle to 'throw something together' on a weeknight- and often end up ordering out instead from the pizza joint across the street.

Ronna's theory is simple: forget life by the recipe and cook each individual ingredient as far and as well as you like- and then use these ingredients to make quick and delicious meals throughout the week.

The principle that struck me best was that if I could cook each item unto itself, the worst that happens is I stand at my fridge, fork in hand, and eat a little of this and a little of that, and get a strange, yet satisfying meal.

So, when the challenge came up of putting together a luncheon menu on super short time (I was going to be out of town the day and morning before!!), I decided to put the theory to the test.

I knew I had only about 2 hours the day of to put everything together, so I spent some time the Thursday night before doing the real prep. I ended up using 3 pots and 1 small saute pan, and it took me 2.5 hours, including time to wash the dishes. At the end of the night, here is some of what I now had on hand:

Steamed Broccoli
sauteed shallots
cut radishes
cut orange pepper
Seared Portobello Mushroom
Crispy browned garlic
herb butter

I walked in my house Sunday at noon, and by 2pm, had the following dishes on hand:

Pasta salad with orange pepper, jarred summer tomatoes, steamed broccoli, crispy browned garlic, and an olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper dressing

Spinach salad with seared portobello mushroom, roasted red pepper, radish, and balsamic vinegar

Crostini with herb butter, broiled baby artichoke, parmesan cheese, and sauteed shallots.

Everyone was impressed by the goods- but really, it wasn't such a cooking masterpiece as it sounded!!!

I'll be preparing my Mis En Place again next week, ready to eat a little of this and that again!!

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