I can't wedge tomatoes!

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djdawg
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I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 7:25 PM
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Ok, this could be elected for the stupidest thread ever started but I'm honestly having issues with this.
 
Trying to cut tomatoes into wedges for my chicago hot dogs.  I think I'm doing the cutting correctly but maybe the tomato I'm using isn't correct?  What happens is when they are cut all the "meat" or innards...where the seeds are....quite often they fall out so I'm just left with the rind.  I take the tomato and put the root or stem end down.  I then cut it in half vertically from butt to stem if that makes sense.  Then with those two halves I will cut wedges.  I'm cutting in the same direction and I can usually get 3 wedges from each half.  I"ve used on the vine, Roma (they were even worse with the fallling apart problem).  It can't be a huge beefsteak tomato because two wedges have to sit side by side in a hot dog bun.  Help! 
<message edited by djdawg on Sat, 09/15/12 7:27 PM>

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 7:43 PM
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How far in advance are you cutting?

When you cut...no pressure. Sharp knife glide glide like an ice dancer or a movie slasher. Don't squeeze. No sawing.


djdawg
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 7:49 PM
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CC....I'll sharpen my knives.  Usually cutting morning of or earliest night before.  And the insides are falling out after I cut....it's not like they are intact after cutting and falling out later.  What type of tomatoes do you recommend?

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 8:05 PM
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Since Romas are meant for sauce they will have less seeds than many other tomato varieties. It's also the end of the growing season and if you're using local ripe ripe tomatoes they may also want to have a breakdown.

You can cut in half (north south) turn down on the belly and glide in half (from a half) an two cuts at 45 degree angles before moving from its place...and see if the inside stay put...with a standard round (non-beefsteak) quarter for a Roma.

Sharp like you mean business knife...always.

Are you starting with room temperature or cold tomatoes?

After you have your cuts (glide glide) run your knife (carefully) under the belly to pick them up. & transfer gently like babies. Don't grab them because they can be like little suction cups to a board and the pressure you need to release often means they release their insides.

If that makes any sense.
<message edited by CCinNJ on Sat, 09/15/12 8:15 PM>

djdawg
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 8:26 PM
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Thanks! Yes all that makes sense. I will try sliding the knife underneath like you said. I usually cut at room temp. Since the tomatoes are not refrigerated at the store, I usually don't at home. Should I before cutting? (obviously if I keep tomatoes for any length of time I would)

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 8:30 PM
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If you will be holding them chilled...it will be easier to keep them together if chilled before cutting.

But please don't tell my Mother I told you to chill a tomato. She'd kick my ass.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 8:42 PM
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CC,
Good advice, but I can't figure out if "like a movie slasher" is a term the CIA might use (The Culinary Institute of America) or could it be the FBI.
LOL


CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 8:46 PM
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It's from the "Uncle Louie School of Slashing" while wearing a $1000 suit!

edwmax
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 8:58 PM
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djdawg

.....
Trying to cut tomatoes into wedges for my chicago hot dogs.  I think I'm doing the cutting correctly but maybe the tomato I'm using isn't correct?  What happens is when they are cut all the "meat" or innards...where the seeds are....quite often they fall out so I'm just left with the rind.   ...

 
I say you're probably using over ripe tomatoes. (not over ripe as in mushy, but as in juicy before becoming mush)   A juicy over ripe will make the bun soggy.    Romas might be a better choice when the table type tomatoes are too ripe.

djdawg
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 9:10 PM
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Thanks! Yes all that makes sense. I will try sliding the knife underneath like you said. I usually cut at room temp. Since the tomatoes are not refrigerated at the store, I usually don't at home. Should I before cutting? (obviously if I keep tomatoes for any length of time I would)

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 9:14 PM
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Loose arms. Tell the tomato a joke while slicing. Not too funny.

Foodbme
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 11:13 PM
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There's no law that says you have to cut wedges.
Cut a Roma in half length-wise.
Put both sides down flat.
Cut slices cross-wise.
You'll get a better yield and the tomatos will fit in the bun better.
I've eaten many Chicago dogs with slices, not wedges.
<message edited by Foodbme on Sat, 09/15/12 11:15 PM>

Dr of BBQ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 11:19 PM
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Your right and if you get a big slice put it in the bun before the dog it'll still stick up and look great.  In fact I have seen them served with Chopped tomatoes.
Check this site out: http://geneandjudeshotdogs.com/Chicago-Style-.html
or http://roblattin.hubpages...t-Chicago-Style-Recipe
 
Or just forget the tomatoe
http://www.thepauperedche...aka-the-superdawg.html
 
<message edited by Dr of BBQ on Sat, 09/15/12 11:26 PM>

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 11:30 PM
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Yum! Pickled green tomatoes...especially off-season when tomatoes are easier to cut... but expensive with no taste.

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 11:37 PM
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I LOVE the Superdawg box. It's a Superdawg...not a hot dog. I have to practice that...or no Superdawg.

Curb Hopper
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sat, 09/15/12 11:40 PM
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Try a tomato knife...serrated edge, off set handle. Done.

DawnT
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sun, 09/16/12 1:01 AM
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Instead of a dedicated tomato knife, Forschner's  offset bread knife is wonderful for tomato slicing and very sharp, unlike most others that are like hack saws. Chef Mate sharpeners can keep the serrated blade razor sharp. One of the best investments I've made.
Victoronix should be the same product with NSF safe handles instead of rosewood.
 
Have you considered a wedger if you're going to do a lot?  One of the larger bed 10 section, nemco, redco, or prince castle wedgers can be had for around $80-$100 new on the 'bay and much less used. The used ones don't go for much like the dicers, but the investment in a new blade insert, rubber bumpers, and a maybe a pusher to fit your needs might make a new one a better deal. The blades can be maintained with a v type, manual, handheld sharpener.
 
CC, never had green tomatoes b4 until i moved to TN. My MIL puts up home grown, pickled tomatoes and also uses them in her chow chows which I never had b4. What I found wonderful was her breaded, fried, green tomatoes that she does in a cast iron pan.

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sun, 09/16/12 3:24 AM
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Sounds delicious! I don't think I ever had chow chow...or a proper fried grreen tomato without a little grated Italian thrown in.

That's the kind of MIL that's a keeper. I bet she never calls you "that one" or wears black when you're around. My informal MIL loves to tease me. I'll be "this one" sooner or later.

Pickled green tomatoes & your popular cream cheese might come together quite nicely for a "Wicked Southern Drawl" Dog!
<message edited by CCinNJ on Sun, 09/16/12 4:34 AM>

edwmax
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sun, 09/16/12 7:34 AM
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Foodbme


There's no law that says you have to cut wedges.
Cut a Roma in half length-wise.
Put both sides down flat.
Cut slices cross-wise.
You'll get a better yield and the tomatos will fit in the bun better.
I've eaten many Chicago dogs with slices, not wedges.
Great,   I cut 1/2 slices myself and stick them to the side of the HD.   They don't move around or fall out as easy.
 
Oh, an I've never had a problem of the tomato falling to pieces.   I don't use the over ripe tomato for this purpose.
 
My preferred knife is a chef's straight blade type.  All my knives are kept sharp.     ... Point down on the cutting board at an angle, pull the knife across the tomato in one motion to slice.   No sawing or hacking at the tomato, they don't like it.  
<message edited by edwmax on Sun, 09/16/12 7:42 AM>

Bistro a go-go
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sun, 09/16/12 10:46 AM
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for uniform cuts and best yield PLUS speed in slicing how about a mandolin? cant beat it but takes a lil skill and knowledge/practice. its this or get that sharpener from the info-mercials and use your debit card as demo'd, lol...

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sun, 09/16/12 10:51 AM
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DJ...if the Chicago Dogs were flying out as a new vendor (with a picture on the menu) keep wedging or change right away. You don't want the excited new customers notice you're making changes. Word-of-mouth is very important. That's the thing chain customers scream about. SCREAM. Getting a little anal about tomato or any other topping yield. "I'm paying $4 for this hot dog..and..."
<message edited by CCinNJ on Sun, 09/16/12 11:02 AM>

djdawg
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sun, 09/16/12 12:16 PM
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Thanks everyone!  I think I will try the slices instead of wedging...I do have a mandolin so I'll play with that today....thanks!

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Sun, 09/16/12 1:41 PM
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Good luck! Let is know how it goes. If the inside of the tomato stays inside a tomato slicing on a mandolin...you're livin' right.

bartl
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Tue, 09/18/12 12:28 PM
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One other suggestion: Use a cut-resistant or cut-proof glove. Most people don't like their tomatoes flavored with blood.
 
Bart

marco226
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Tue, 09/18/12 1:55 PM
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this is just my 2 cents. i was a cook for 24 yrs.
really tomatoes! are you really that busy that you need to cut them ahead.
if you are good for you!
the only way you are going to get the look and quality your looking for is to cut the toamote to order.
on an other note there is a prouduct that the food compamies sell. pre sliced tomatoes.
when i first heard about it i said no way. what they will last for 5 min if that or get damaged in shipping.
well when i did finally see them i was speachless. they looked  awsome. never used them though.
i think they said the shelve  life was 3 days. really i could not believe my eyes.
one more thing the tomatoe must be perfect not too ripe and not under ripe.
good luck!

jcheese
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Tue, 09/18/12 5:09 PM
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My HD says cut tomatoes must be used within 4 hours. I cut to order.

Buck & Vi's
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Tue, 09/18/12 6:26 PM
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marco226


this is just my 2 cents. i was a cook for 24 yrs.
really tomatoes! are you really that busy that you need to cut them ahead.
if you are good for you!
the only way you are going to get the look and quality your looking for is to cut the toamote to order.
on an other note there is a prouduct that the food compamies sell. pre sliced tomatoes.
when i first heard about it i said no way. what they will last for 5 min if that or get damaged in shipping.
well when i did finally see them i was speachless. they looked  awsome. never used them though.
i think they said the shelve  life was 3 days. really i could not believe my eyes.
one more thing the tomatoe must be perfect not too ripe and not under ripe.
good luck!


As I recall these are hyper expensive..tho right... I believe they also sell tomato. let, onion in sets too...............hyper expensive too
<message edited by Buck & Vi's on Tue, 09/18/12 6:28 PM>

roadkillgrill
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Tue, 09/18/12 7:08 PM
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I also cut per order. You get better under pressure.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Tue, 09/18/12 7:12 PM
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Buck,
The reason they started selling all the sandwich parts is because so many people that get hired in the BOH are idiots. So they try and make it fool proof. I have been served sliced onions on a sandwich that were 1/2 inch thick. At that rate it only takes 4 sandwiches per onion. Prep people are so goofy and lazy. This is not meant to be a reflection on anyone here on RF. LOL
jack

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Tue, 09/18/12 8:13 PM
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Bagged salad is a 3 billion $ per year business.

I don't know what makes lettuce so intimidating to tackle or ominous task...but it's big business. Bagged salad. Bleh. Expensive too.

Vic Cardenas
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Wed, 09/19/12 12:45 AM
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Invest in a good knife, learn to keep it sharp and learn how to use it. Problem solved.
This has been my workhorse http://www.amazon.com/Wus...ks-Knife/dp/B0001FATMI   A Wusthof fears no tomato
I keep it razor sharp with this  http://www.amazon.com/Smi...arpening/dp/B00009YV6L
 

BR
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Wed, 09/19/12 9:14 AM
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I love Chicago Dogs but hate the large chunky veggies that like to jump off the dog as you eat it so I came up with a version that is much easier to eat. I simply dice up the tomato, pickles etc. pico de gallo style. It makes a much more manageable dog and the veggies don't try to abandon ship when you take a bite. I'm not a hot dog vendor... I just make them for my own consumption at home but I much prefer them this way. It might be a problem for those that expect the chunky garden dog veggies however. It's something to consider.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Wed, 09/19/12 9:58 AM
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BR,
You have a plan. There are no real rules for making a HOT DOG. And unless you live in Chicago any vendor can do their version and make it their own. Think out side the box and as long as your using a really good dog, soon your customers will come to know it as the correct way to enjoy a great dog.
 
Good post BR.
<message edited by Dr of BBQ on Wed, 09/19/12 1:37 PM>

CCinNJ
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Re:I can't wedge tomatoes! - Wed, 09/19/12 1:18 PM
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I think chopped giardiniera salad would make a fine "Wicked Hot Italian"