Have you ever been cooking at home and finding yourself constantly moving back and forth from the cutting board to the fridge or the kitchen drawers? By properly setting up your station you can avoid all of that hassle and better yet you’ll be able to eat sooner! That’s one way to sell techniques isn’t it, offering food quicker than normal? Aside from being able to eat your dinner sooner, this proper station setup will allow you to cook more efficiently and focus on what you’re doing at the moment rather than constantly think about what you may be forgetting.
Step 1: Place a wet paper towel on the table where you want to put your cutting board.
Step 2: Lay your cutting board on the damp paper towel, by doing so you’ll prevent the cutting board from sliding around on you.
Step 3: Grab a knife and and bench scraper. Remember a dull knife is your enemy when cutting, so make sure it’s sharp. The bench scraper is useful for gathering up all of your chopped ingredients and gives you a larger surface than the knife will.
Step 4: Gather mise en place bowls that vary in size. These are great items to store your prepped ingredients until you’re ready to cook. Having clear bowls makes it easier to see which ingredients are in what bowls, while the different sizes are great for the different amounts of certain ingredients you may have.
Step 5: It’s always handy to keep both a set of measuring cups, as well as measuring spoons next to your cutting board. This allows for easy access when measuring out spices and/or wet ingredeints.
Step 6: The final step is to have 2 containers, in the Teaching Kitchen we use hotel pans, for what we call “trash & treasure”. Trash is the items such as pepper seeds, vegetable stickers, plastic, and herb stems that we don’t want to save. Treasure is what we use to make our homemade vegetable stock. Items such as scraps and peels of onion, garlic, celery, parsley stems go into the treasure bin. Later, when we have enough scraps, we boil them in water to make veg stock. Everyone can do this at home and not only does it taste better than the store bought stuff but it’s also cheaper. Think about it, you already paid for the onions and celery why not use the scraps rather than spend more of your hard earned money on buying stock?
There you have it! You’re cutting board station is all set up and you’re ready to go cook until your heart’s content.