Prep is a cookery concept aimed at every person who wants to eat a nutritional and delicious meal at the end of the day, wants to cook the meals themselves and needs a little assistance and motivation from a professional.
Cookery books are great but all they offer is a recipe and a list of ingredients. You still have to find the motivation to cook the meal.
Prep is about getting ahead; having a vast proportion of your weekly meals prepared in advance so that when it comes to dinner time, you can construct a meal in a matter of minutes.
Prep will show you, step by step how to prepare all your meals in advance so that eating an evening meal no longer causes a whole load of stress.
The problem with convenience today
There are plenty of convenience options out there from fully prepared meals you simply put in the oven or microwave to ordering in your own boxed ingredients with recipe cards.
These are all great options in theory but in reality they don’t tick the boxes.
Convenience foods from the supermarket
However enticing they look, supermarket convenience foods have been through a process. They will probably contain high levels of salt, sugar, emulsifiers and additives. Even the very healthy prepared meals have been through a process in a factory miles away from where it ends up on your plate; most significantly the readymade meals available in supermarkets usually taste as though they were made in a factory miles away: they are bland and lack everything that home cooked meals bring to the table. More often than not, the ingredients that are used in the meals which are factory prepared have been brought in from a factory even further away. Double processed.
Fully prepared meals and ingredients boxes on mail order
I have perused many a site of mail order food companies and as a chef I know that everything they deliver can be done by a keen cook in the comfort of their own home for a fraction of the price. If you pay for the convenience of a mail order that has been completely prepared prior to arriving you will save time but pay the cost. If you simply order in the ingredients with recipe cards and instructions you are still paying the cost and then having to prepare and cook the meal yourself.
Prep will show you how to get organised in your kitchen without the cost of delivery. So for 5 days out of 7, (the 5 most important days where you are the busiest at work and with your family), you will be able to relax at the end of the day with your cooked meal for yourself and your partner or your entire family. Prep illiminates the the stress of writing shopping lists, buying the ingredients and preparing the food during the week.
Everyone enjoys a cheeky take out from time to time but your favourite Chinese take away or curry house should not be appearing as a suggested contact on your smart phone.
Did you know up to 90% of a meal can be prepared in advance?
How do you think those takeaways arrive at your door within 30 minutes? In the professional kitchen we refer to the prep station as mise en place. Mise en place is a French term which means ‘everything in its place’ and in kitchen terms it means getting all the meat and vegetables prepped and ready so that when service begins, they can be assembled into the dish easily.
It is possible for home cooks to adopt this method so that meal times don’t become a chore and the whole family can be fed nutritious and tasty meals for a good part of the week.
Preperation is key
That term preparation is key gets bandied about in most industries but in the catering industry it is imperative to the business succeeding. In order to have a stress free week from Monday to Friday it is essential you remove one of the biggest stresses most people face at 5pm on a weekday. The evening meal.
Preparation for the evening meal can be done serval days in advance and sometime weeks in advance if you utilise your freezer for your own made convenience food and ingredients rather than fish fingers and ice pops.
Prep will give you many chefs’ tricks and tips straight from the professionals and show you how to get prepped and become a home cook to pro cook in just 6 weeks.
Home cook to pro cook
Practice makes perfect and once you have spent a few weeks in the frame of mind of a professional cook you will constantly have an array of prepped ingredients to create a meal with any day of the week.
Prep will show you how to make everything from your own pesto and flavoured butters, prepped vegetables and sauces in advance and have them to hand in the fridge or freezer.
With 6 weeks of 5 recipes, that’s a handsome handful of 30 recipes to get you through a month.
The prep philosophy
By following the recipes in prep you will be getting prepared in advance. There is some work involved, but it’s not anything near like what you would imagine it to be. I will show you the best kitchen cheats and show you how to utilise your time and ingredients to get ahead.
Prep begins at the end of the weekend. For those who work Monday to Friday, prep should be done on the Sunday evening. You could do it on the Saturday if you wanted to use some of your weekend.
Prep will take approximately 1 hour of preperation and cooking time and a little extra for clearing up, boxing and bagging ingredients to put in the fridge or freezer. In the grand scheme of things it’s nothing really and you will be grateful come midweek when you would normally be scouring the freezer for something to feed your hungry brood with.
Once you have done this preparation section you are set for the week. You simply come home from work Monday to Friday and take the day’s prepped ingredients and follow the assembly instructions. There may be some heating or final cooking stages but this will not need your full attention, ie; it can simmer on the stove or sit in the oven or will literally take one or two minutes on a hob.
I will soon be posting an example of a week’s menu – with ingredients and schedule so you can get a feel for how the concept will work.
So until then I will be busy pulling out all my professional hints and cheats from my mental attic as well as liaising with my professional collegues to bring you the ultimate cookery repetoire to turn you from home cook to pro cook!