May 04, 2011

Making it Up: Stuffed Tomatoes

It's the craziest thing...somehow, doing menial tasks in front of a computer all day makes me daydream about T and my trip to Santorini in the summer of 2009. I can't for the life of me figure out why! Oh. Wait. It's because desk jobs are where dreams go to die. And Santorini is where dreams go to multiply. Like frisky, frisky rabbits.

So, in a fit of nostalgia, I decided that the day of computer...stuff would not be a waste if I could only manage to recreate (and then devour) the delicious stuffed tomatoes that I ordered at every possible opportunity during our trip to Santorini.

The original beauties, seconds before their gruesome death, at a cafe in Oia.
So, how did my version turn out? Success! No, they didn't taste quite as good as their Greek counterparts, but they weren't too shabby for a Wednesday night impulse-dinner!

Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 6-8 tomatoes (what kind matters much less than how fresh...if they don't smell distinctly like tomatoes, don't buy them)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3ish cups prepared short grain brown rice
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh chives, minced and divided in half
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • Grated Pecorino cheese to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
 1. Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant (only a few seconds). Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally to break up large clumps, until the beef is cooked through.

2. While the beef is cooking, preheat your broiler to 500 degrees. Use a paring knife to cut the tops off the tomatoes, and then scoop the seeds out with a teaspoon. Season the cavities with lots of salt and pepper, and arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet.

3. Once the beef is thoroughly browned, stir in half of the chives and the goat cheese. Add the brown rice, and stir the mixture until everything has a shiny goat cheese coating (I wish I had a shiny goat cheese coating).

4. See? Shiny goat cheese coating.

5. Using a special ice cream scoop (or, y'know, a spoon), fill the cavity of each tomato. Pack the stuffing in well in order to ensure a strong tomato-to-stuffing ratio (can ratios be strong?).

6. Sprinkle the remaining chives over the top of each tomato, and then top each one with a bit of the grated Pecorino. Broil for about ten minutes, or until the tomato skin starts to wrinkle and the cheese browns.

7. Devour, or refrigerate and reheat later. These babies were also delicious when I reheated them for breakfast on Saturday (stuffed tomatoes are the new cereal...which just reminded me of the fact that whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed...what is happening to this blog?).

And now I have to go to sleep, so that I can go to work tomorrow and do important things all day. Like scan documents. And push my lunch hour until 1:45 p.m. so that my "afternoon" is only 2 hours and 15 minutes long, therefore saving me from having to use one of those staple remover thingies to gouge out my own eyeballs.

Yes, yes I did take this picture. Yes, yes I do want to go back NOW.

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