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How to peel more or less whatever thing - cooking-tips


The great English cook Prue Leith once eminently remarked "life's too short to stuff a mushroom". I feel appealing much the same way about detaching a grape.

However there may come a time when you want to do such a thing and it's handy to have a austere approach eminence by. Not that coming off a grape is all that difficult, just tedious. You austerely do it.

The same cannot be said of such equipment as peaches, apricots and even small pickling onions. The trick in each case is to use hot water.

With just about all thin painful fruit, counting tomatoes, you cleanly make a cross shaped nick in the skin, put them in a bowl and cover them with a very hot water for about 30 seconds. This cooks the skin and makes it very easy to remove.

You can do the same thing with baby onions, but you may need to leave them in the water a bit longer. That's not a challenge since there is no real likelihood of cooking the onion owing to the roughness of the skin. That's not the case with most soft fruit so be assiduous not to leave them in the water for too long.

Melons, pineapples, grapefruit etc

These call for a altered modus operandi and one that involves using a knife. It follows, therefore, that the knife needs to be very sharp.

The modus operandi in itself is very clear-cut but does demand a barely practice.

Start by bitter the top and base off the fruit. Then the place it on a flat apparent so that it is durable upright and using your choice knife cut vertical slices of skin away, custody the blade as close to the contour of the fruit as possible.

Using this logic you will find it very easy, for example, to confiscate the segments from peeled fruit such as oranges and grapefruit. You easily slip a small bladed knife concerning the pieces of flesh and the membranes that break away them.

In this way you can abruptly and certainly get ready a fruit salad for example, a salsa or your darling tomato sauce. In fact the potential are endless.

Speaking of tomatoes, once you have peeled them, you might as well go the whole hog and cut off the seeds as well.

Why would you do this? Since the seeds are indigestible at any rate and the pulp they are in introduces a lot of water into something they are added to. Anyway, who wants to get a tomato seed stuck in their teeth?

Did you know, by the way that tomato seeds are not only inedible, they are in effect indestructible? So much so that a add up to of coastal currents have been traced by tracking the advance of these barely wonders once they escaped from the water care plant.

So why disconcert to eat a touch that neither you, the manure plant, nor the sea can digest?

Vegetables in general

Why disconcert to peel them at all?

The main reason, I suppose, is for the sake of appearance. There is a bent to accept as true that vegetables devoid of their skins look advance than those with their clothes on.

In the case of carrots, I would have to agree. The skin, above all in older carrots, tends to go a gray color when cooked. It also shrinks and distorts the shape of the vegetable.

But in most cases I can see no exceedingly good argue for going to all that trouble. Austerely wash the vegetables thoroughly, using a small nail brush you keep for that purpose, and then cook them in any way you wish.

One added bonus for doing this is that you hold on to more of the nutrients of the vegetable, a large fraction of which are in the skin. Of course, if you fancy to add the vegetable skins to your fertilizer heap, you will get nice fat, juicy, good for you worms instead!

No doubt the magpies (or at all carnivorous birds you have in your area) will be very grateful.


If you be going to to eat the cloves any whole or as a paste, there is no need to peel them at all until after they are cooked, when the pulp will certainly squeeze out of the skins like toothpaste from a tube.

Peeling a raw clove is just as easy, once you know how. I learnt this trick from a kitchen hand, by the way, whose main job was to clean cooking pots, scrub mussels and peel garlic!

Simply put the clove of garlic on to a flat become known and press down on it with your thumb. It will 'give' a little and the paper-like skin will fall away in your hand.


If you are an American (or Paul Hogan) you call these mighty wonders 'shrimp'. If you are British, 'shrimp' will mean a tiny crustacean of the same species. There is no bigger bond than the expression which divides us.

Have you ever wondered how a restaurant manages to serve peeled prawns with the head still on? Like this, of course:

Hold the head in one hand and the tail in the other. Arrange the prawn out as much as you are able, push the head and tail confidently towards each other so that you are compressing the fish a bit like a concertina.

Pull apart and the shell ought to break free from the rest. Learn to laugh at your failures :)

Wash your fruit and vegetables

This is so critical that I'm going to say it again: wash your fruit and vegetables.

Do this, even if you be going to to peel them. If there is any contamination, any because of chemicals or soil abode bacteria, now is the time to get rid of it. You exceedingly do not want to get it any on your hands or your chopping board.

And while I am on this subject, a choice hobby horse of mine, be cautious not to chop up your peeled fruit or vegetables on a become known where grimy items have been kept. You risk cross pollution if you do and I agreement you that your breed and guests will not thank you for it.

You will find a lot more facts about cross infectivity and how to avoid it in my free ebook, "Hygiene In The Kitchen".

Remember that element contagion has a cumulative bring about which may take some time to bring to light itself as the toxins build up. Why take the chance? Wash your fruit and vegetables already use.

And at least rinse your hands concerning managing grimy veggies and any other kind of food. You'll make a lot of enemies that way, but they'll all be bacteria who never exceedingly belief that much of you in the first place!

Copyright © Tingira Publishing 2004 All Civil rights Reserved

Michael Sheridan is an acknowledged authorization and in print essayist on cooking matters. His website at http://thecoolcook. com contains a wealth of information, hints, tips and recipes for busy home cooks.


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