Armenian Style Stuffed Tomatoes

18 Oct

As you all know I just love cooking, but am probably guilty of doing what lots of us  do and that is stick with the same recipes because of lack of time and because I know I don’t often have time to leaf through my books for hours when there always seems to be so much else to do here. So I love it when I am given a recipe from another lover of food as I know I don’t have to test it!

 

Mick came back from a London trip, having had dinner at one of his clients (and now very dear friends), James and Vera Harland.  Vera is from Armenia and is the most fantastic cook (actually so is James).  Anyway, as usual when either Mick or both of us go around to their house for dinner, Vera had produced a feast, usually consisting of about a million different courses and one of the dishes was stuffed tomatoes, Armenian style.   Mick came home raving about them, so I asked Vera for the recipe.  Here they are for you – they make a lovely, tasty dish for lunch or supper and although they need a while in the oven, they can just be left cooking away happily while you go and do something else.  Also, if there are any vegetarians in your party, you can still serve tomatoes, but leave out the meat and put aubergines, pine nuts and raisins instead.  In fact this recipe can be adapted to your taste, put a bit of chilli in there if you like

 

For four people for part of a main dish, you will need

 

500 gms beef mince

Half a cup of Arborio rice

8 medium to large beef tomatoes

Olive oil

6 large potatoes peeled and cut into chunks

Dried Mint

3 or 4 large cloves of garlic

Lots of salt and pepper

 

Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the flesh and put to one side.

Turn the tomatoes upside down to drain as much liquid from them and retain the tops

Wash the rice and place in a bowl with the mince and mix in.

Chop up the tomato flesh in to small pieces.  Add to the mince mixture and add a good glug of olive olive and mix up.  Season with quite a lot of salt and pepper – it does need to be well seasoned.

Fill the tomatoes with the mixture but don’t over fill – pop the tops back on and then keep the liquid from this mixture.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a roasting tray and put in the tomatoes and peeled potatoes between them.

Sieve the reserved liquid over the dish pushing as much through as possible with a spoon

Peel and chop the garlic (use as much as you like!) and dot it all over the dish

Throw loads of dried mint over and cover with foil

Put in a moderate oven (gas mark 3/325F or 170C) for 3 hours – it will stay a bit longer if you wish

After 2 hours or so have a taste and re season with salt and pepper – remove foil for the last half an hour before serving on hot plates with lovely crusty bread.

 

 


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