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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice - Gutsy Cooks Club

My children used to beg for toys that were advertised on TV. "But, Mom, I really want it. It's so much fun! Look how much fun the kids on TV are having"!" "No," I said. "They're not having fun. They're actors. They're pretending to have fun."
That's how I feel when I look at the ads for Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, which show the entire family lit up with joy when Mom brings the casserole made with C of M soup to the table. They're actors. Soup casseroles don't really make them happy.
My point? Yes, there is a point here. It's no struggle to find easy recipes that don't taste very good. And it's not difficult to find delicious food in three-page, multi-ingredient recipes.
But good and easy? That's not a combination that you find every day.

This recipe, from Saveur magazine, is both. Monica discovered this gem for the Gutsy Cooks' rice month, for which she sussed out every version of rice known to mankind. Naturally, I chose the easiest one. (In my defense, however, so did she). First, you scoop the tomato pulp out of however many tomatoes you want to bake, and pulse it a few times in the food processor.

Then you mix in all the other ingredients: rice, fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. You could add other things too, but why bother? The tomato/basil/olive oil/garlic flavor combo is a classic one for a reason--it tastes so good.

Then you spoon this soupy mixture into the hollowed-out tomatoes. I'll admit there's a little leap of faith involved here. Will the rice really cook? Will this rather unappetizing glop turn into food? Yes and yes.

You don't really have to put the little severed tomato ends on top of the tomatoes stuffed with glop, but you should. It's very little extra trouble and they end up looking awfully cute.

Then you walk away for 50 minutes and do something more interesting. The baking time actually gives you enough time to catch up on an episode of Dexter, if you're so inclined. Or you could do something else not involving lovable serial killers.

If you happen to have a bazillion skewers of chicken satay left over from your husband's birthday party, you'll find that the stuffed tomatoes make an excellent side dish. Rounded out with a simple salad, it's a meal that will make you happy.

Jim: I'll give these a solid 9. The tomatoes taste really fresh, and the rice is so much better than plain rice.
Marie: I think that 9 is about right--maybe even a 9 1/2. It's a perfect way to use end-of-the-summer tomatoes. And it does make you want to eat your rice.


  1. I have no clue if my comment posted... it's like project runway... one day you are in and the other you are out? did it post or not?

    If it did - here is another one... if it did not... let me keep it simple:

    Told you the recipe was good! Glad you guys liked it. Tom told me that they were even better the next day (he had the left over for lunch at work).

    And oh, tip... the Horchata recipe... you need to make it.. YUMM!

  2. Leftovers are in my future tonight. I can't wait. I know what you mean about the comments--it used to be so easy. Now there's only about a 50/50 chance that the blog gatekeeper will let you through.
    We're going to Portugal next week, so there will be very little cooking going on, but I'll keep the horchata in mind.

  3. Have fun in Portugal.. you are going to love it!!! and remember to stop by and visit this place:

    You are going to love their Pasteis de Belem....

  4. Now you've got me thinking how to incorporate that soupy mixture into other recipes as well.