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Pro Setup for a Veggie Prep Station

By Lan Lam Published

Organizing your tools in advance can shave minutes off prep time.

My first day in a professional kitchen, I learned how to set up a station for mise en place. I don’t always bother getting that organized at home if I’m just throwing together a quick meal after work. But any time I’m cooking multiple dishes, laying out all my tools in an ordered arrangement is essential to working cleanly and efficiently. And for big holiday meals in particular, it can shave precious minutes off prep time and keep me feeling organized and in control. 

Here’s how I create a station specifically for prepping lots of veggies.

1. Cutting Board: Secure your cutting board to the counter with a cutting board stabilizer. If you don't have one, you can use a damp paper towel or dish towel. Don't let the edges of the towel peek out from beneath the board, since detritus tends to accumulate on those edges.

2. Prep Bowls: Grab an assortment of sizes so that you'll have what you need at the ready. 

3. Discard Bowl: A handy place for scraps makes it easier to keep your board clean.

4. Bench Scraper: Have the tool on hand to scoop up your prepped vegetables in a snap and transfer them neatly to your prep bowls.

5. Cutting Tools: Place your chef's knife, paring knife, and peeler above the same side of the board as your dominant hand. 

6. Dry Towel and Damp Towel: Keep your board, tools, and hands clean by washing or wiping them as necessary.

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Recipe Cauliflower and Bean Paella

Swapping out proteins for vegetables isn't just about replacing the pieces that crown this Spanish rice dish. It's also about replacing what the proteins add to the rice.

Recipe Kimchi Bokkeumbap (Kimchi Fried Rice)

This punchy, radiant fried rice is comfort food on the fly in many Korean households. Bokkeumbap is also a junction of the cuisine's two most fundamental staples.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.