All About Food
Good food, good recipes, good cooking tips, good drinks,
and anything else an epicurean might dream up!
Sunday, August 14, 2005
My Big Fat Greek Stuffed Tomatoes
** OOPS** ~ I made a mistake... it's corrected now!

Wow! It's been forever since I posted anything on here. I wanted to share one of my labor of love meals that I can only cook at one time during the year ~ summer! This is my Aunt in Greece's favorite recipe so the last time I went there, I made sure to write it down. It's one of my absolute favorites to cook, even though it takes forever to make. I took pics along the way today, so I hope you like what you see! My aunt uses garlic cloves cut up in her recipe but I don't ~ this chick doesn't like garlic! I know, I must be the only living Greek gal that doesn't like garlic... lol.

10 LARGE tomatoes (these are usually found in the summertime)
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons of white rice FOR EACH TOMATO that has been rinsed & strained
2/3 lb ground beef ~ but you can use more if you want more ground beef in your tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 onion
seasoned salt
extra virgin olive oil
oregano (dried, preferably)
sugar **secret ingredient!**

To begin with, cut the tops off of all the tomatoes. Then, carefully, core out all the "middle" of the tomatoes. Separate 5 of the tomato "insides" aside. You'll only use 1/2 the pulp of the tomatoes. If you use the entire thing it will be too sour, so I usually save the other 1/2 for fresh tomato sauce or something like that.

This pan holds 10 large tomatoes very comfortably. I think it's a 11x14 size. You can see the bowl behind the tomatoes ~ I only saved the pulp from 5 of them. Puree this pulp in a food processor, leaving a few chunks if you want. In the meantime, make sure your rice is rinsed thoroughly & drained from any juice running. Dice 1/2 the onion into small pieces. Take a skillet & sautee your onion with extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Don't cook them thoroughly ~ just enough to take the major crispy off. Add the ground beef & mix it up. Add the rice & then the pulp juice along with 2/3 the can of tomato paste. I add water if it looks like it's too thick, but to some degree, it should STAY thick. No runny juices coming out. Add season salt & oregano. Cook for approximately 5 minutes ~ not very long ~ on medium heat. You don't want the ground beef to be cooked all the way.

This is the mixture in the skillet. I let it sit while I add some sugar to the bottom of the tomatoes, underneath the lids. Don't put a lot. Just sprinkle some enough to coat the bottom of the tomatoes. After that, I started stuffing the tomatoes, almost to the top. Make sure you have enough mixture for all the tomatoes. The rice will expand when it cooks in the oven. After they are all stuffed, I add a tiny smidge of sugar to the top of the tomatoes and some extra virgin olive oil before I put the lids back on.

This is what they look like right before I put the lids on. After I put the lids on, I add water to the pan ~ usually enough to cover the bottom 1/3 of it (don't pour water directly on tomatoes, just around the edges of them). Put it in a 375 oven for an hour and 15 minutes, covering them with foil before you put them in there. For another 15 minutes, take the foil off. Take the pan out slowly because there will be lots of water that has seaped from the tomatoes & this is what it will look like:

And one without the lid on... this is the one I was TRYING to let cool off. Ha!

The juice will receed as the tomatoes sit. The problem is, I can't WAIT for them to even cool off! I end up burning all my taste buds off my mouth cuz I can't even wait for a few minutes. These will be VERY HOT! Be careful spooning them out of the pan ~ I suggest a large spoon & a fork to help you take them out.

I'm gonna make Greeks out of y'all yet! Mine have been out of the oven for 30 minutes. I've had 3. And I've been blogging in between bites. I have no taste buds left... lol. They taste SOOOO much better even the 2nd day. But mine NEVER make it that long. I can honestly say I can sit here & polish off this entire pan tonite if I allow myself. lol

Kali Orexi! (Buon Appetit)

Saturday, August 06, 2005
Blueberry Peach Crisp
This is a quick, easy and healthy dessert (or breakfast!). For an even healthier variation, top with a little vanilla yogurt

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 45 min


10 oz fresh or frozen blueberries
1 lb of fresh or frozen peach slices
1/4 cup apple juice


1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup oats (I use the steel cut, not instant... although I think instant works just fine
1 cup pitted dates
2 TBS apple juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350. Place blueberries in the bottom of a square 8 inch baking pan. If you are using frozen, make sure they are completely thawed and drained of excess water. Place peach slices on top of blueberries (again, if frozen, make sure they are also thawed and drained of excess water). Drizzle 1/4 apple joice over the fruit.

Place dates, oats, almonds and cinnamon in a food processor. Blend. After running the processor for a minute and things seem blended, add the apple juice and mix well.

Place the granola mixture evenly over peaches and blueberries, and bake uncovered for appr 45 minutes. Serve warm or cold

Tip: Mke sure the topping is well ground and mixed while still ending with a coarse texture. It will have a tendency to be in clumps after processing. When you place it over the fruit mixture, crumple it with you hands into an even layer, otherwise it will be in big clumps and will not look or taste as good :)