Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stuffed Tomatoes

On Sunday night my dad gave us TONS of tomatoes from his garden. I was at a loss as to what to do with them because I don't like raw tomatoes and I knew Forrest couldn't eat them all by himself before they went bad. Of course I turned to Pinterest to find a recipe that incorporated them and I was successful. What did I do before Pinterest? Really! Anyway, I found a recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes and since I love to stuff foods (see the recipe list at the right---I have stuffed just about everything) I knew we would probably enjoy these. The recipe was European so the measurements were metric (curse that metric system) so I had to wing it a little bit. After it was over I decided on many changes that needed to be made for an easier cooking process but over all we really enjoyed them! Happy cooking!


Ingredients

  • 8 large beef tomatoes
  • handful of dried porcini (I left this out)
  • olive oil, for frying
  • two 250g packs spinach (Save yourself some time and just buy frozen)
  • flat mushrooms, sliced into rough cubes (I used one package of button mushrooms)
  • 300 ml vegetable or chicken stock (not sure how much this is but I used half of a regular sized can-you can use less)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 sprig thyme, stalks removed, leaves finely chopped (from a bottle)
  • 01 lemon, juice only
  • 100 g cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 60 g parmesan, freshly grated
  • good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (skipped)
  • egg yolk, beaten  (skipped)
  • black pepper
For the dressing:
  • 1/2 tsp French mustard
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (I used balsamic)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • small handful basil
Cooked and ready for the dressing

Yummy!!!

Method

1. Blanch the tomatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove with a perforated spoon, leaving the water still boiling in the pan. Put the tomatoes in a large bowl of iced water and set side.

2. Add the dried porcini mushrooms to the still-boiling water, then remove the saucepan from the heat. Leave the mushrooms in the pan to soak. ( skipped this step because I didn't have porcinis)

3. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Tip into a sieve set over a bowl, and press out all the moisture with the back of a wooden spoon. Tip the spinach on to a board and finely chop. Put in a large bowl and set aside.  (it is much easier to use frozen spinach and just defrost it and let it drain)

4. Using a perforated spoon, gently remove the porcini mushroom from the hot water, Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and reserve to use as vegetable stock.

5. Put the frying pan back on the heat and add a good splash of olive oil. Fry the porcini and fresh mushrooms over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until beginning to brown.

6. Reduce the heat to medium and pour over 300ml of the stock. Add the garlic, thyme and the lemon juice. Continue to cook the mushrooms until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are shiny. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (honestly, you can just use the cooked mushrooms and don't need to do this step because you really can't taste all of this stuff)

7. If using cottage cheese, drain it in a sieve, gently pushing it against the sieve to remove as much liquid as possible. (Ick I did not use cottage cheese--but I used part skim ricotta. Do yourself a favor and use the real stuff)

8. Stir the cottage cheese and mushrooms into the spinach. Then add two-thirds of the Parmesan, a pinch of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and put in the fridge.

9. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas 3.  (350 was perfect)

10. Peel the tomatoes and slice off the tops about a third of the way down. Reserve the tops to use as lids. Using a teaspoon, carefully scoop the pulp out of the tomatoes, reserving it for the dressing. (I didn't peel them and I am glad I didn't because they fall apart easily!! I also didn't top with the lid just because)

11. Fold the egg yolk into the cottage cheese mixture. Stuff the tomatoes with the mix, piling it up well but without pressing down - this may cause the tomatoes to split.

12. Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan on top and replace the tomato tops, tilting them at a jaunty angle. Carefully place the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until the filling is heated through.

13. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine the reserved tomato juice and pulp with the mustard, vinegar, oil and basil. Whisk together and pour over the cooked tomatoes before serving. (OMG the dressing is SO good!)

3 comments:

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