Having cooked in various capacities and for over 40 years I tend to take certain things for granted. I think we all do. We don’t mean to do so but we all get so accustomed to doing what we do that we forget someone may not know how to do that which we think is simple. We forget that someone had to teach us the most basic of things. Hence, the reason for this post.
How many times have you come across a recipe requiring you to use peeled tomatoes? What a pain. Why bother peeling a tomato? I remember asking myself this very question when I first started learning how to cook. So what if there is a little skin? They come with skin. What’s the big deal?
Well, to start with, the big deal is a textural deal. Tomato skins are tough, like cellophane. They float on top. You see them in your meal. They stick to your teeth and the roof of your mouth. It’s one thing if you are eating everything raw, like in a sandwich. It’s another thing entirely when you are making a soup or a sauce. In a soup or a sauce you really need to peel the tomato and in many instances seed it, too. Seeding a tomato seems rather self evident but someone new to cooking may not know how to peel a tomato. I mean, they’re not like a banana or even an avocado. Doing it with a knife is such a chore and wasteful, unless of course you are making tomato skin rose garnishes – another post for another day. So how do you peel a tomato? Well, you follow these easy steps.
First, bring a pot of water to a boil. Do NOT add salt, just regular tap water.
While the water is coming to a boil, cut a cross in the bottom end (the opposite end of the stem end) of the tomato.
When the water comes to a boil, drop the tomatoes in the boiling water.
Allow the tomatoes to sit in the boiling water for 20 – 30 seconds. The limited exposure to the boiling water just cooks the flesh immediately below the skin without cooking the rest of the tomato. Remove from the water and allow to cool.
Grab the skin on one of the cross cuts and peel.
Continue to peel until completed. Viola! Peeled tomatoes ready to use. Simple and quick.