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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Storing and cooking tips on Tomatoes



Tomato is classified as a type of vegetable and is used in various dishes in main courses including green salads and pickles & chutneys. Some tips on storing and cooking techniques of tomatoes.
Storing Tips on Tomatoes:
  1. As long as they are kept at room temperature, tomatoes bought at the mature green stage will soften slightly, turn red and finish ripening to develop their full flavour and aroma.
  2. You can place the tomatoes in a shallow bowl at room temperature until they are ready to eat (Don't refrigerate, as tomatoes stored in the refrigerator tend to lose flavor).
  3. To speed up the process, place tomatoes in a brown paper bag / closed container in a single layer (with the top side up) to trap the ethylene gas which helps in ripening the tomatoes.
  4. Once they are fully ripened, tomatoes can be kept at room temperature or refrigerated for several days.
  5. But remember to use tomatoes only when they are back to room temperature to get their fullest flavour in cooking.
Cooking Techniques:
  1. Peel: Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover tomatoes and bring to a boil. Immerse tomatoes for 1/2 minute, drain and cool. Remove stem ends and peel off the skins.
  2. Seed: Cut tomatoes in half, crosswise. Gently squeeze and remove the seeds. To reserve the juice (for dressings, sauces or soups), place a strainer over a bowl and seed the tomato.
  3. Tomato Shells: Cut a 1/2 inch slice off the stem end of each tomato. Using a spoon, scoop out the pulp & seeds to form empty tomato shells.
  4. Roast: Tomatoes can be roasted over glas flame and oven.
  5. Slow-Cook: Preheat oven to 300°F. Remove stem ends and slice the tomatoes. Place slices on a shallow baking pan and brush with oil. Cook for 40-45 mins until tomatoes soften and shrink.

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