Want to peel garlic safely and get out some aggression? If so, cover the garlic clove with the shallow, concave side of a wooden spoon and press down hard (with or without muttering “Serenity now” under your breath). The cup of the spoon prevents the garlic clove from shooting out across the work surface, and your brute force separates the peel from the clove.
Even the sharpest vegetable peeler isn’t the best tool for removing the hairy, thin skin of a kiwi because you either lose most of the fruit’s soft flesh or mangle it in the process. In the test kitchen, we use an alternative, inside-out peeling method. Start by trimming the ends of the fruit, and then insert a small spoon between the skin and the flesh, with the bowl of the spoon facing the flesh. Push the spoon down and carefully move it around the fruit, separating the fruit from the skin. Then gently remove the spoon and pull away the loosened skin.
Blanching tomatoes—that is, boiling then plunging them into a bowl of ice water—is the easiest way to loosen their skins. But removing their loosened skins with a knife? Not so easy. Your knife can tear the peel and make this tedious task even worse. When that happens, try this super simple test kitchen-approved method: Place the stubborn tomatoes in a kitchen towel and rub lightly.