Italian Recipes – Coring and Stemming the Tomato for Papa al Pomodoro

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,147
    Culinary and Lifestyle Specialist Lisa Mushaw demonstrates how to core and stem the tomoato for Papa al Pomodoro.

    Lisa Mushaw

    A new generation doyenne on the rise who is staking her claim in the lofty arenas of international travel, tourism and the culinary arts, Lisa Mushaw is making transatlantic waves with TREASURES OF TUSCANY – AN EPICUREAN VOYAGE. TREASURES launched in November 2002 as a one-week vacation abroad with a twist – a cooking program where participants are given extensive exposure to Italian cuisine while discovering the physical beauty and traditions that are uniquely Tuscan. The idea was to offer “foodies” an opportunity to share and celebrate the cultural, personal and convivial rites that are the Tuscan Table, while basking in the charm of one of the world’s most exquisite and historic treasures. Lisa is a “natural taster” who cut her culinary teeth in the kitchen of relatives who excelled in the preparation of Creole cuisine. As a child, long before she knew the difference between battuto and affogato, she demonstrated a natural talent for discerning which ingredients were missing or used in excess in recipes. Her culinary gifts are no accident as her family roots include small business owners who made their living as caterers in New Orleans. A fervent student of food and wine, Lisa’s most recent accomplishment was completing a three year sommelier program. TREASURES OF TUSCANY – AN EPICUREAN VOYAGE is ideal for those with a passion for continental adventure who want to escape the drama of daily life and be transformed by a week in Florence – the center of the Renaissance, the Etruscan city of San Gimingnano or the medieval town of Lucca, creating memories that will last for years on end. Those who bask in attention to detail, pampering and personal service will want to join Lisa for the this extraordinary excursion to Toscana, the Italian province rich in beauty and character and the birthplace of much great Italian art, cuisine, and history.

    Lisa Mushaw: Hi, I am Lisa Mushaw, owner of Treasure of Tuscany, an Epicurean Voyage. Today I am going to show you how to prepare Papaalpomodoro. Papaalpomodoro is tomato and bread soup. We are going to begin with coring and skinning the tomato.

    To do this, you simply take a peering knife and you cut into the top of the tomato, making a circle and going down deep enough to get the core of the tomato. Once you do that, you release the core, you are then going to turn the tomato upside down on the bottom side and create a shallow cross, across the bottom, like so. Once you have done this, with all seven tomatoes, you are then going to place them in boiling hot water for two minutes. You will then take it out of the boiling hot water and place it in ice cold water, just long enough for it to cool off and then we will peel back the tomatoes.

    Once you have boiled the tomatoes for two to two and a half minutes, depending on the ripeness of the tomatoes, you then put them in cold water. I always put a couple of ice cubes in the water, just to make sure it s really cold. Now, I am going to take them out of the water and then I am going to peel the skin. Now, the great thing about doing this to a tomato is, when you cut tomatoes, that are getting a little bit soft or starting show a little age, this is a great way to save them by parboiling them very quickly and then just being able to pull the skins off them.

    This technique is really good for tomatoes that are going to be cooked. I do not recommend using this technique for salads. Anyway, so, as you recall, we make Xs in the back of the tomato, simply you are going to take one of the Xs and then peel the skin back and you see how easily the skin comes off. And you do that all the way around the tomato, like so, and you are just continuing around to each corner to get the tomato skin off. And now, do the following one also. So, again you are taking a corner from one of the crosses that you cut, and you are just peeling back the tomato.

    And this is so easy, it s so much easier to do this and as you can see the process doesn t take that long. Okay, so, now you have got two skinned tomatoes. Once you skin the tomatoes, you are going to go back to where you made your crosses, and continuing through the tomato, cutting them in two quarters, like so.

    At this point what you want to do is, see the tomato. Some people like to squeeze the tomatoes. I don t like to do that, I just kind to take a spoon and just shell it. And you are really again, you are just taking out the seeds and you are ending up which is the outer layer of the tomato.

    Again, I just put a spoon in here, I m getting the rest of the core, getting the seeds out as much as possible anyway, and then again, doing it again, just seeding it out. They come right out; the seeds come right for you. Sometimes, the core can be a bit tricky and that s why I like to use a spoon, so I don t have to lose the shape of the tomato. And this can be a bit messy too. So, when you cut these tomatoes and I will show you, we have already started the process, so here are some of the tomatoes, that we have already used and then we are just going to place them in there.

    Okay, next thing we are going to do is, chop five cloves of garlic.