Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tomates Farcies (Stuffed tomatoes)

Stuffed tomatoes are always a crowd pleaser (provided said crowd likes cooked tomatoes...).

I've always loved this classic dish and make it at least once a year. There is just something very comforting about those little balls of deliciousness and I usually combine it with baked tomato rice, which coincidentally is also one of my all-time faves.

Here's how you can make them.

INGREDIENTS (4-6 people):
- 6 large beefsteak tomatoes (with stems will look nicer, but without stems works fine too)
- 2lbs ground meat (I used a combination of ground pork and lean beef, but I would recommend either full pork, or using fatter beef, like 80-20% instead of 95% lean)
- 2 shallots, diced
- 3 fat cloves of garlic, grated
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (not pictured)
- salt, pepper to taste
- optional: 2 cups white rice
- optional: a few sprigs of thyme
- optional: 4 cups of chicken broth

- pre-heat your oven at 400F
- in a large bowl, mix the ground meats, diced shallots and grated garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and reserve in the fridge until ready to use

Note: my stuffing tasted good, but was really lean and turned out a little dry to be honest. I would recomment adding an egg and 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs in the mix to ensure moist and tender meatballs
- slice the tops off the tomatoes and spoon out the seeds and inside flesh, reserve both on the side.

- divide the meat filling in 6 and stuff the tomatoes, covering back up with the tomato tops
- place the tomatoes in a baking dish and roast for 45 minutes at 400F or until the meat is cooked through
Optional rice dish:
- if you decide to bake the tomatoes with the rice, place your stuffed tomatoes on top of the rice in a baking dish and sprinkle with thyme

- dice the reserved tomato meat and drain the seeds, keeping the juice

- sprinkle the tomato dice between the stuffed tomatoes and add the tomato juice and heated chicken broth

- cook for 45 minutes at 400F or until the meat and rice are cooked
- Enjoy!

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