Taste of Tribeca Tip #9: There’s More Than One Way to Slice a Tomato

e-chewy-cereceres-by-tribeca-citizenIn anticipation of Taste of Tribeca*, the benefit for P.S. 234 and P.S. 150 on May 15, I’m asking some of the participating chefs for cooking tips. Here are three clever ones from E. Chewy Cereceres, executive chef at Macao Trading Co.

Chicken breasts tend to get dry when you cook them, especially when they’re off the bone or cut in chunks. A very light coat of baking soda, for 15 minutes at most and rinsed off before cooking, will tenderize the meat. (Don’t leave it on too long or it’ll affect the texture.) This tip works with other cuts of meat—anything lean, really.

And you know those tomatoes called Sweet 100s? They’re the ones that are smaller than grape tomatoes. A lot of people won’t use them because they can be a pain, but they have great flavor. If you rub them with sea salt, the stems will come right off. (Kosher salt will work, too.) Do it over a colander, so the tomatoes don’t roll everywhere and they’ll be ready to rinse. Also, if you want to slice them—like for a salad, so the dressing will stick to them and they won’t be as hard to get on a fork—you can slice them all at once by laying them on a cutting board, sandwiching them gently with another flat surface, and cutting horizontally with a serrated knife.

*Tickets are on sale now at tasteoftribeca.org. Buy before May 1 and they’re only $35.

Previous Taste of Tribeca Tips:
• Tip #8: One for Surf and One for Turf (Luis Nieto of the Palm)
• Tip #7: Good Food Is Slow Food (Alberto Polo of Farinella)
• Tip #6:
When Applying Sauce, Use Your Noodle (John Sierp of M1-5)
• Tip #5:
Prep Like a Pro (Marc Forgione)
• Tip #4:
Fresh Pasta Shouldn’t Be Too Fresh (Giovanni Tenace of Roc)
• Tip #3:
Back to the Cutting Board (Russell Moss of Cafe 92YTribeca)
• Tip #2:
Method to the Mashedness (Henry Meer of City Hall)
• Tip #1: Bake Beforehand (Rachel Thebault of Tribeca Treats)


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