My kid was helping me make spaghetti bolognese the other day and she had found from the Food Network, a technique to easily remove the skin from tomatoes. And it really did make it easier to peel the tomato skins off!
Later, I learnt that this is the same technique taught by the Culinary Institute of America in their book, The Professional Chef.
Here’s my description of the technique to easily peel tomatoes …
How To Peel Tomatoes
(Adapted from The Food Network and The Professional Chef (8th Edition), pages 697-698)
1. Remove stems (if any) and for each tomato, cut a shallow X (about 1-3 mm deep) at the end opposite where the stem was.
2. Prepare a pot over medium heat with enough boiling water to fully submerge the tomatoes, along with a separate bowl or pot containing enough ice water to also fully submerge the tomatoes. To scoop out the tomatoes from the pot of boiling later, have a slotted spoon, a strainer (that’s small enough to scoop the tomatoes out of the pot) or simply a fork and spoon ready at hand.
3. Submerge the tomatoes into the boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds (the less ripe the tomatoes, the longer they’ll need to be in the boiling water) … note that the tomatoes will tend to float, so using the slotted spoon, strainer or fork and spoon, turn the tomatoes around in the boiling water during those 10 to 15 seconds to ensure the whole surface of the tomatoes is being cooked.
4. Using the slotted spoon, strainer or fork and spoon, quickly remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and submerge them in the ice water to stop them from cooking further.
5. Once the tomatoes have cooled enough to be handled, remove them from the ice water and using a sharp knife (such as a paring knife or even a chef knife, whichever you are comfortable with), you will find that the tomatoes’ skins peel away easily.
If you are peeling more tomatoes than can fit in the pot of boiling water or pot/bowl of ice water, you can do them in batches … just repeat steps 3 to 5 for each batch, ensuring that the boiling water is still boiling and the ice water is still icy, doing the peeling after all the tomatoes have gone through the boiling & ice water.