16 August 2009

Stuffed tomatoes again

To make stuffed tomatoes, first you need tomatoes. Those we have got. Then you need stuffing. They sell that at the supermarket, in butcher shops, and in charcuteries in France. That makes it easy.

The stuffing is ground pork with seasonings already in it: garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. You can add some more, of course. I added dried thyme, fennel seeds, and some more garlic and black pepper when I made tomates farcies the other day. Chopped onion would be a good addition. The stuffing is sold as farce à tomates. Or you can buy chair à saucisses — sausage meat, which is just ground pork. Fancier meat stuffings — farce fine, for example — might include some ground veal.

Tomatoes for stuffing

Anyway, I've been reading that there is a tomato shortage on the U.S. East Coast. A lot of fields of tomatoes and back-yard gardens have been affected by something called "late blight,"which can also infect potatoes. It's a kind of mildew, I think — mildiou in French — and it attacked our tomatoes here in Saint-Aignan in 2007 and 2008. It attacks the grapes in the vineyards whenever conditions are warm and humid.

Stuffed and ready for the oven. Drizzle olive oil over all...

For once, our tomatoes are completely healthy. The weather is extremely dry. Our yard is brown and crispy. We don't water it. We do water the vegetable garden, as much as we have to. On TV, they said we are under water restrictions here in the Centre region, but we have gotten no official notification of that.

After an hour in the oven

This text is designed just to "frame" my pictures of the stuffed tomatoes, which are the best I think I've ever made ... or eaten. Fennel seeds give the stuffing a really nice anisy flavor. Put the stuffing in raw, with a little raw rice in the bottom of each hollowed-out tomato. The rice will cook and soak up some of the tomato and meat liquid.

Ready to serve and eat

Cook the stuffed tomatoes in a low oven (325ºF/160ºC) for an hour or so. Turn up the heat for a few minutes at the end of the cooking if you want the tomatoes to brown a little.

9 comments:

  1. The tomatoes look beautiful and the stuffed ones deliscious! The fennel sounds interesting.
    Last year all our tomatoes got blight. This year it is back and we just found blight on two of our last three plants this morning. A friend lost 25 tomato plants this year! Our only surviving tomato is a purple variety so maybe this one is resistant. They get the virus in warm wet weather so your dry spell means you'll be fine! Next year we are going to buy some chemicals to deal with it!

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  2. Me again. I just read your comment on yesterday's post. That was 4.30 am US time. I do get up early but at 8.30/9pm, I am in bed. We do have very early calls in the Motion Picture business (5.30 am being the average, though sometimes earlier for make-up, hair and actors), except that right now, there isn't a lot of work in town.

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  3. These stuffed tomatoes are great. I've made them several times since you posted the recipe. My latest version was à la niçoise, with tuna, green beans and olives, which we ate hot the first night and cold leftovers with rice salad the second.

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  4. The mother of the person you helped me track down last year gave me this recipe in 1966. I've been making it ever since.

    Tomatoes OK here. Fingers crossed. We've had a mostly warm, dry summer.

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  5. ooooh.... that looks SO good. It sounds like a similar recipe to stuffed peppers, which I like to make with red bell peppers, rather than green (I just love their flavor). I like the trick you've given about putting some rice in the base.

    How much tomato meat do you scoop out, and what do you do with THAT??

    Nadege, thanks for yet another "ça" expression *LOL* (translated as, "I'm impressed" ?? "I'm amazed" ??) (And, your schedule sounds like mine, but I don't have to be AT work at 5:30...yikes!)

    Judy

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  6. FIGS
    WASH & DRAIN . SPRINKLE 1/2 CUP SODA
    OVER EACH 3 QUARTS FIGS. ADD 2 QTS
    BOILING WATER &LET STAND 5 MINUTES.
    DRAIN & RINSE. ADD 1 QUART MEDIUM OR
    THICK SIRUP;BRING TO BOIL & SIMMER FOR 1 HOUR. PACK INSTERILIZED JARS.


    LOVE, YA MA

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  7. Oh yum Ken. I've just finished breakfast, but I know what we're having for dinner tonight! Might do it with peppers as the tomatoes here are wintry ones.Wish I could buy ready made stuffing here though.
    Sue

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  8. Good recipe. Fennel seeds are very common, it is commonly found in kitchen. It adds flavours to dishes. It has many health benefits like, it act as mouth freshener, women who face irregularities in their periods felt effective cure by fennel seeds, it provides relief to strained eyes, gives soft and conditioned locks, healthy skin etc.

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