Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Have a Heart!

Pomodoro "Cuor di Bue" Ripieno 
Stuffed Coeur de Boeuf Tomato

The wonderful "beefsteak" tomato, a favorite the world over in the hot Summer months- in places that are actually having a Summer that is! Known as the "coeur de boeuf" or heart of beef in France- and similarly so the world over, this big, beautiful beast of a tomato is a meal in itself and about as good as it gets!

Normally, the plan would have been to have prepared a nice salad, a caprese, or a panzanella... something wonderful, refreshing and seasonal... but with this cloudy, cold weather, I had to re-think and come up with a solution for a warm meal... brrrr! I was almost tempted to make a soup for a minute or two!!!

So a salad was out of the question... but to have chopped up that big, beautiful tomato and to have cooked it down beyond recognition, would also have been a crime... and so I had to think of something else- and to do so pretty fast! Because I was feeling pretty hungry! Obviously, what I decided to do was to stuff the tomato, but the way I went about it was like this...

First of all, I cut the tomato in half and scooped out the seeds so that I was left with the juicy, thick flesh. This tomato was a good size- a nice, large handful, but not one of the gigantic ones- so for the filling, I needed 1 handful of finely chopped bacon, 1 egg, 1 handful of bread crumbs, 1 Spring onion, 1 handful of grated parmesan, 4-5 black olives, a splash of milk, a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh mint and parsley. Simple stuff, easy to remember and all that you need for a yummy little supper!

I started off by frying the finely diced bacon together with the finely chopped onion and the black olives, for 2-3 minutes, until the bacon was done, the onion was translucent and the olives had become richer and more aromatic. I set them to one side in a bowl and popped the tomatoes into the frying pan for 2-3 minutes to start cooking, whilst I continued with the filling.

The next thing I added to the bacon and onion was the bread crumbs and the good thing about adding them and stirring them in was that they helped cool the warm ingredients down nicely- which meant I could add the egg with no danger of it curdling. So indeed, in went the egg, the sliced olives, a splash of milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg and the mint and parsley, finely chopped. I added half of the parmesan cheese, stirred it in well and then spooned the mixture into the tomatoes, which were at this point half-cooked, at least the undersides were. 
I sprinkled the remaining parmesan on top with a light drizzle of olive oil, added a last grind of fresh pepper and popped them into the oven for 10-15 minutes at 30°F to bake, then a further 1-2 minutes under the broiler to turn golden brown... simple but delicious!

Once baked, the filling became firm but moist and the flavors were just perfect together... I mean- what's not to like when there are bacon and eggs in there?!?
So that was it- an impressive looking, fun and filling supper! One I hope you will try and enjoy too! I recommend it!

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