When do you use peeled tomatoes? For long, slow cooking such as stews and casserole where if you left the skin on you'd get little rolls of tomato skin as the skin doesn't break down during cooking.
. Some people use a peeler - not the easiest method and only works when the tomato is very ripe.
. A much better method is to blanch them in hot water. Take out the green leafy bit. Make an X cut in each end. Plunge them into boiling water. When you see the skin just starting to peel away lift them out with a slotted spoon and put into iced water. This can take anywhere from 10 to 25 seconds.
. Take out of the chilled water and the skin should easily peel away.
. Don't leave them in the boiling water too long or they will overcook. As well as the skin a layer of flesh will come off too.
. Then there's the knife method which produces 'petals'. In this method you don't put them in boiling water. Just slice the tomato into quarters and remove the seeds by slicing away the inner membranes. Lay the piece of tomato skin down on a cutting board and then you push the end of the tomato down on the board and slice the skin off feeling the knife pushing down on the board.