Food writer and trained chef Michael Ruhlman knows a thing or two about cooking under pressure, as anyone watching his judging stint on The Next Iron Chef knows. In his latest book, Ruhlman offers some tips for us non-chefs on how to save time and avoid disaster by reading closely and getting ahead:
Measure out or prep all your ingredients before you begin. Don't mince your onion just before you need to put it in the pan, have it minced and in a container ready to go, have that cup of milk and half cup of sugar set out before you. Good mise en place makes the process easier and more pleasurable and the result tastier than preparing a recipe with no mise en place.
Ruhlman also notes that great cooking is usually the result of repetition and paying close attention, not magical talent. What tricks or steps helped you beat a tough recipe or become a better cook? Share your story in the comments. Photo by littledan77