Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mise en place

Mise en place is many things: a good idea, a pretentious French phrase, and a religion among many chefs. It is nonetheless something I practice rarely, because I am (1) lazy, and (2) descended from People From the Frozen North Who Like to Cook Their Food Slowly (thus giving us plenty of time to prepare ingredients as we go).

Nonetheless, with the summer and its bounty of produce upon us, I determined that, if I were going to try to make an eggplant-tomato curry tonight (recipe tomorrow, I hope), it would be a good idea to prepare all the ingredients ahead of time:

The star of the show — eggplant from the Intervale Community Farm (our CSA).

Tomatoes, mostly from our thankfully late-blight-free garden, plus one or two from ICF.

Shallots, bought in a bundle from the Vietnamese grocery around the corner, with a lime behind the cutting board.

Rice noodles, from the same (the package bearing the label "Prime Minister's Export Award 1994").

Basil and citrus mint from the garden (being immersion-rinsed using the same pot I cooked the noodles in, to save on dishwashing...)

Fish sauce with a bit of red Thai curry paste and brown sugar dissolving in it.

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