In culinary school chefs in training learn many tips and tricks for creating dishes that not only taste good, but look good as well. Instead of simply chopping up tomatoes chefs make tomato concassé. It is a simple technique that greatly improves the look and plate appeal of any recipe.
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If you’ve made any recipes with tomatoes at home you might have noticed all those seeds don’t look great, and when cooked the skin tends to come off and bits float around in sauces and soups. If you ever wondered why you don’t see this in restaurants, this is the article for you. Follow these simple steps and you will be one step closer to restaurant quality in your own kitchen.
Start by removing the stem and core from the top of the tomato with a sharp paring knife. Next, turn the tomato(es) over and make a shallow “X” on the bottom, just deep enough to cut the skin.
Place the tomato(es) in a pan of boiling water for about 10-20 seconds. As soon as you start to see the skin crack and peel pull them out and place in ice water for about a minute to stop the cooking process. Once cooled the skin peels off easily. Remove all the skin and discard.
Cut the tomatoes in to four pieces to expose the pockets of seeds. Use your finger to scoop out the seeds and the jelly like material around them. Finish by chopping the tomatoes into about 1/2 inch pieces. If your recipe does not including cooking the tomatoes you can skip the boiling and peeling and simply remove the seeds with this same technique.
If you are looking for more articles on cooking skills and techniques, check out my Cooking 101 page.
A good paring knife is indispensable when prepping fruits and vegetables. Amazon is offering this one for $9.99
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