If meal-time feels like crunch-time every day -- it could be time to streamline your process! Chef K.C. Gulbro, owner of Foxfire and Copper Fox Restaurants in Geneva, Illinois is taking us through ways we can save time and money in the kitchen.
First of all... Chef says start by planning out your meals
Planning your meals will help you with your prep, purchases, and time management. So sit down, and make a little menu! The ultimate time saver is cooking in advance — even multiple days at the same time. Bonus, when you go to the store you’ll know exactly what you need.
Next- it's important to buy what's in season
When you buy in season, you’re getting the freshest ingredients at a cheaper cost, because lots of local farmers are harvesting similar crops. This also lets you throw together some seasonal wow into your plates, like edible flowers. Buying in season is also very eco-friendly and good for the environment. Chef suggests checking what’s in season before you plan your menu and head to the store.
Buy in bulk!
Buying in bulk will always get you the best price — and you can be creative with whatever it is you buy! The same ingredient can find its way into many different meals — today’s spare rib can be tomorrow's lunch, tomorrow's soup, or even today's dinner.
Now when it comes time to cook — get as prepared as possible with mise en place..
This simply translates to “in place.” Chefs do this in every kitchen, and you should do it at home. It’s pretty simple — it’s all about getting your ingredients and elements in place in advance, so when each is needed for the recipe, you’ll know right where they are. It’s a great way to add efficiency to your kitchen. Chef says it's also a great way to get the kiddos involved — they can help you prep your vegetables, cut your meats, or get together your sauces in order to streamline your process.
Finally-- to eliminate waste... and save some dough--- save your trim!
Trim can be anything from vegetables and peelings, to pieces of meat that you didn't want to throw on the grill. Trim is the best way to save money because it can be used for stocks, for soups, for sauces, and for snacks. They may not be pretty enough for prime time, but they’re loaded with nutrition, so think before you toss!
adapted for web by Dave Hanson