By Steve Shetter Jr
I once worked in a restaurant called Portico’s.
It was equal to a four star restaurant and one night we had some very special guests and the chef wanted us to impress our guests.
I made this concasse and placed it in their salads and decorated their steaks with it upon coming from the grill.
The cool chill of the concasse blending with the Angus steak was very much liked and upon the guests returning, they wished to have the meal repeated.
Tomato Concasse is a food preparation technique that is defined as to crush the tomato after skinning and de-seeding. This is a very easy process that consists of a pot of boiling water, an ice water bath, and time. The ice bath is simply a bowl of ice water. Placing this next to the stove is essential as it help to reduce the cooktime of the tomato.
Remembering the first rule of vegetables, wash them before you use them. You first must get your water to a steady boil, not too violent. You then take your tomatoes and cut a small slit on the bottom and take out the stem end. Once you have the tomatoes prepared, place them into the boiling water and time for about 2 minutes. The time is important. Should the tomatoes be left in the water too long, the flesh of the tomato will begin to cook and ruin the results you are looking for.
Once the tomatoes have been in for the appropriate time you move them to the ice bath immediately. This in turn will stop the cooking process and aid in releasing the skins from the tomato. Once the skins have been removed by grabbing or pinching the slits you made on the bottom, quarter the tomato and using your thumb, scrape out the seeds. You have now successfully prepared your tomato. At this point you can chop or julienne or crush the tomato as your recipe calls for. Do not fear over cooking, getting it right takes time unless you are experienced in the kitchen. You can still use the tomatoes; it will be a little more of a challenge.
Typically this process is used to decorate your meal as in a garnish or in a bruschetta. In the age of growing older, over half of the population develops diverticulitis. This is a medical condition that causes openings or pouches in the lower intestines (mostly). This preparation method is recommended for foods that contain seeds of any kind. Diverticulitis is the infection that occurs when seeds or anything not processed get lodged within these pouches. The best method to reduce chances would be a high fiber diet.
To eat is to live, to live is to love. Let’s all go and love what we eat…