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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stuffed Smoked Tomatoes

Stuffed Smoked Tomatoes....

When the tomatoes are ripe on the vine, there seems to be more than you know what to do with. An easy and quick recipe that lets you use all these extra tomatoes is Stuffed Tomatoes. I cooked these in the smoker but you can easily bake these in the oven.

Stuffed vegetables and fruit are blank slates for any type of stuffing your imagination can come up with. I took a look in the fridge and came up with pre cooked Chicken Apple Sausage, some green onions, shredded cheese, and a little bit of Spring Green Salad. Stuffed Tomatoes are more difficult to cook than Stuffed Peppers because the skin is so delicate but they look different - Stuffed Tomatoes just aren't that common - but the effort is worth it if you enjoy the flavor of tomatoes. Lots of people don't like raw tomatoes but are big fans once they are cooked.

I diced up the green onions and rough chopped the Spring Salad. I ended up with about a cup of salad.

I figured about one sausage per tomato but the tomatoes I got at the Farmer's Market were good size. I chopped up the sausage.

I cut the top off of the tomato and used a small spoon to get the guts out of the tomato. Be careful not to break the tomato skin. I picked out some pretty firm tomatoes to help make sure the skins didn't break during the coring process or during the cooking process.

I got as much of the guts out as possible without ruining the skin.

Some more creativity hit when I was looking to add some layers of flavor. I added 2 tablespoons of Rub Company Competition Style Rub, a few fresh squeezed lemons and a few tablespoons of blueberry balsamic vinegar. The sweet and sour will bring out the sweetness of the tomato.

I blended all the ingredients together and squeezed the lemons and added the balsamic vinegar. You could add some dry rub or some other spices / herbs that will accent the other ingredients in the stuffing.

Don't forget, this is a blank slate - pick out something that you like or whatever you have sitting in the fridge. Good hint is to make sure everything you use is already cooked - the tomato will not make it through a cook long enough to properly cook any meats.
As a final touch, I sprinkled on some bread crumbs. These crisp up for a nice top to the stuffed tomato. You can also sprinkle a little more cheese or some dry rub on top.

I cooked these at 225F on my Traeger Pellet Smoker. Another option is to cook these indirectly in a charcoal or gas grill. You could bake these in the oven if you don't have a smoker or grill. Make sure that you don't cook too hot and fast or the skin will burst. You want to cook these slow enough to get the stuffing heated up thoroughly without ruining the skin.

Since all the ingredients used do not need to be cooked to a certain temp, you only need to cook long enough to get the stuffing hot enough to make sure all the ingredients are appetizing and the flavors blend. You could cook until the internal temp gets to 160 but there are no rules as long as you use pre-cooked meats.

When the tomatoes are ready, use a good pair of tongs to move them off the grill or cooking surface. The skins are now soft enough to easily burst.

Here's the finished product with some Atomic Buffalo Turds and some zucchini planks sprinkled with The Rub Company Santa Maria seasoning. There's some pig candy thrown in for some extra credit.

Here's the meal plated up. Let's eat!

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