June 27, 2012 |
Tomato concasse (cone-cass-SAY) is just a fancy term for tomatoes which have been peeled, seeded, and chopped to a 1/4-inch dice. Although a bit laborious and time consuming, the end result of having fresh, peeled tomatoes is invaluable. Many dishes will not have the same end result when full of little bits of tomato skins, like my Green Beans in Tomato & Sour Cream Sauce, for instance.
The process is actually quite simple. First, bring a large pot of water to a boil. While it is coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath (just water with lots of ice) in a bowl large enough for all of the tomatoes. Core the top of the tomato — don’t worry about coring it all the way through, you will do this later — and score the skin at the bottoms of the tomatoes with an “X” shape. When the water comes to a rapid boil, drop the tomatoes in the water. After 30-45 seconds, pull the tomatoes out and immediately set them in the ice bath to cool. After a few minutes, they will be cool enough to handle and very easy to peel. Cut them into quarters and remove the hard cores and all of the seeds. You are now ready to dice them into 1/4-inch pieces (or any size you desire).