Chopped tomatoes here we come


Chopped Tomatoes

How to peel and chop tomatoes. If your thinking anything like I did when I first decided to use fresh tomatoes in cooking over the tinned stuff, your probably wondering why to bother with removing the skins. After all, it can be messy and adds valuable time to your cooking. So lets look at this.

Tomato skin contains a nutrient call flavonols. Don’t be fooled by what the name suggests! They will make your sauce taste bitter once you start to cook your tomatoes. The skin also has a very different texture to the flesh. The skin doesn’t break down when it cooks either.

Tomatoes are tricky to peel

These can also be tricky to peel, If your tomato is very ripe, take for instance a vine ripen one. The skin will peel away very quickly and you can quickly lose a lot of the flesh as it will break down quickly. You want this in your cooking, but not at the peeling stage.

Whereas if you use a salad variety, which I really suggest you don’t as there isn’t a lot of flavor in these ones. It will be really firm and take a lot longer. Chances are as well if you use a salad variety some of the skin won’t come off yet around the scoring the flesh will have started to break down! Total tomaot nightmare!

To peel the tomatoes you will need to gently score a cross in it’s underside, then you want to place them carefully in a pot of boliling water

How long do you boil them for?

As I have already mentioned depending on the ripeness of your tomato depends on the length of time you need to leave it in the water. You will find many a cookbook tell you the ‘magic’ number is 60 seconds. While it’s true some really firm salad tomatoes need 60 seconds or longer, (don’t use these unless you absolutely have to!) The riper variety just need 20 to 30 seconds.

So how do you know? Well, a really simple way of telling is to watch them. When the tomato is ready the skin will start to ‘split’ down a line following the score you did earlier. when you see the split starting to happen, give it a few more seconds and your tomato is ready.

One final thing before you can chop your tomatoes

You will need to place them in a bowl of ice cold water, straight out of the boiling pot., We do this because we want to stop the heating process as soon as possible. Placing ice in your bowl works the best. If you don’t have ice in your freezer, then just use the coldest water you can from your tap.

Then simply let your tomatoes cool, remove the skins and chop them up. All ready for your fabulous creation! Try using these with my amazing Pico de gallo recipe!

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