Lake Tahoe, CA is an absolute gem. Everything is fresh, clear and clean there: the air, the water… If you want to cleanse yourself this is the perfect place for Yoga, Swimming ( cold water), hiking, biking, kayaking, horse riding, walking, camping.
Not too many tourists. Great Campgrounds. Lovely sceneries. Great weather in Summer during the day because some nights can be very cold.
The perfect spot for family vacations.
So after one week of “Camping” food, and because it was after all my vacation too, cooking was not what I wanted to do, plus the very high elevation : 7000 Ft, make you tired for the first days you are in Tahoe, back home, last Sunday, I was craving for some Homey food, as I talked to my mother on the phone (my parents live in France), she told me she needed to check her “Tomates Farcies” in the oven… just her words and I swear I could smell the roasted stuffed tomatoe in my parents’ kitchen. An unforgetable scent, the scent of Summer at my parents’ house.
Tomates Farcies mean Roasted Stuffed tomatoes. In summer the tomatoes are big so you can stuff them easily and roasted tomatoes are the best Summer dish in my opinion. In France, the housewife usually stuff it with mixture of sausage meat, bread, egg and milk.
Since I had delicious ” Saucisses de Toulouse” from Euro Food Depot San Diego
and delicious red bell pepper, large tomatoes and Zuchinis from Temecula Farmer’s Market, I decided to make my ” tomates Farcies”.
Celine’s Stuffed Tomatoes
• 1 cup Jasmine rice
• 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
• A few sprigs of bay, rosemary, thyme (or a pinch
each of dried)
• 6 ripe but firm large tomatoes
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 red pepper bell finely chopped
• 4 tbsps olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3 cooked ham slices ( minced)
• 2 Saucisses de Toulouse or Pork Sausages
• 2 slices of bread ( 1 day old)
• 1 Organic Free range egg
• 1/4 C Organic milk
• 2 medium Zuchinis (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Cut a thick slice off the top of each tomato; leaving on the stalk if you can and reserve the tomato tops. Cut and scoop away the seeds and juice from each tomato. Keep the tomato pulp and cut in small pieces.
3. Cook the rice in a medium saucepan with the vegetable stock, and herbs. Stir occasionally and simmer until just cooked through, which takes about 10-15 minutes make sure the rice isn’t over cooked as it is cooked again inside the tomatoes. Drain. Set the rice aside.
4. Mix in a medium bowl the bread, egg and milk. Mix well and squeeze it.
5. To make the filling. In a saucepan pan fry the onion gently in little the the olive oil, until soft and starting to caramelise. Add the garlic and fry for a minute before adding the bell pepper with a little salt and pepper. Gently cook for five minutes and then add the tomato pulp. Cook for a couple of minutes and then combine well. Add the broth. Taste and season well. Then add the ham and the sausage (shredded in tiny pieces).
6. Cook until each ingredients is soft. Add the cooked rice and the bread/egg/ milk mixture. Mix all ingredients.
7. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed tomatoes, mounding slightly. Sprinkle leftover stuffing on the bottom of the pan. Drizzle entire dish with olive oil. Place the reserved tomato slices on top the tomatoes.
8. Oil the bottom of a baking dish, big enough to fit the tomatoes snugly, with 2 tbsps of the olive oil. Place the hollowed tomatoes in the prepared dish.
9. Bake for about 20 minutes.
Scoop out the Zuchinis pupl with a teaspoon. Add to the mixture until cook. Then proceed the same way as with Tomatoes.
Serve it with rice or couscous.