Using fresh tomatoes, however, is definitely not as easy as opening up a can and dumping it into a pot. Fresh tomatoes require that you remove the stem, seeds, any rotten spots, and the skin. The first three are easily taken care of with a good paring knife. But there's a trick to taking off the skin. If you don't know what you are doing, you'll be fumbling around making a mess of the situation like a teen-aged boy in the back seat of a car. Do it right and you'll find that the skin will slide off that tomato like a dress falls off an eager woman. The process finally and fully explains what is meant by the expression "she's one hot tomato." Indeed, tomatoes aren't the only hussies of the kitchen. Onions respond in much the same way.
The technique is simple. Slice a shallow X through the skin of either the tomato or onion at the base, and then quickly submerge them in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, and let them cool just long enough so that you won't burn yourself. The skins will slip right off.
|Onions Gone Wild|
Photo by A. Gibbons
And now that your produce is fully prepped, you can finally get down to business--cooking, that is.