Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stuffed Tomatoes

So tonight I was at my Intro to Graduate Studies class and I was starving. (Is it just me or does it seem like a lot of my blog posts start off with me being hungry?) The class is held from 5 - 7 pm on Tuesday evenings and if it weren't for the entertainment factor of our professor Trent Hickman I'd probably hate it a lot more than I do.

Anyway, tonight I was hungry and I didn't have any foods with me to appease my stomach. We have a break halfway through the class, and normally I would have used that break to run down to the vending machines and grab a snack of sorts to tide me over until I could get home and eat real food. (and by real food I mean pasta) Well since my ID card is old and the mag strip is pretty well worn off of it the vending machines don't recognize it anymore so vending machine purchases are out. (I don't ever have any cash.) Unfortunately, tonight during our break one of my classmates left and when she came back she had this gorgeous (both in looks and smell) tomato that was stuffed with some kind of white cheese and smelled like garlic, butter and heaven.

I could tell from the looks on the faces of my other classmates that I wasn't the only one who was suffering as a result of her clearly visible gastronomical pleasure. Immediately I opened up my laptop and searched "stuffed tomato recipe." I found one that seemed fairly simple yet elegant and delicious so I decided that rather than my usual pasta dinner, I would break out of the norm and make some roasted tomatoes stuffed with parmesan, garlic and herbs.

After calling Maurianne a couple of times to figure out what exactly it means to "mince" garlic and whether or not I could substitute parchment paper with paper towels I managed to put together 15 fairly delicious looking pre-roasted roma tomatoes. I put them in the oven and waited anxiously.

After 20 minutes at 375 degrees F I pulled them out, fully expecting to see and smell a culinary delight. I was mildly disappointed.

They looked flat, and they smelled...crispy. Yes, crispy. That's the only word I can think of that adequately describes the smell.

I figured that was just the water that had cooked out, and I assumed the less-than-perfect appearance was due to atmospheric pressure or something, so I shoveled them onto a plate, took them down to my room and dug in.

Once again, I was mildly disappointed. They had a very weirdly interesting texture that I don't think I'm a huge fan of. The tomatoes were mushy and kinda slimy, and the ratio of bread crumbs to parmesan cheese was decidedly out of whack, erring on the side of too many bread crumbs, so the top part of the thing was crumbly and crunchy. They tasted alright, nothing to write home about (or write on one's blog about...unless you're trying to put off homework like me), but they weren't awful either.

Ultimately, they weren't nearly as delicious as that masterpiece that I had pined for during my class today, but they were edible and I ate nine of them. Jordan ate one and was done. So here are the five left-overs:

Like I said, they aren't that pretty, and their taste pretty much matched their looks. I guess the important part is that I had dinner and it was mildly healthy. meh.


  1. This is like the time I made ratatouille. Apparently cutting the parchment paper to exactly the size of the pan is really as important as the person who wrote the recipe said it is. :) Nice work being all culinary, Sammy.

  2. I still think it's funny (yet resourceful) that you thought of using paper towels. By the way, don't ever use them in the oven—unless you want to start a fire. :) Sorry they didn't turn out like you hoped. Maybe you should ask your classmate for the recipe next time.

  3. oh, we all need to do more experimenting in the kitchen! let's make stuffed zucchini, stuffed bell pepper, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed pumpkin for Halloween (that's the best!) we can make this happen.
    plus, in my french cooking book, there are probably 10 recipes for different kinds of stuffed tomatoes. we'll find one you'll like.

    ps, can I call you 'master' instead of 'esquire' now? :)

  4. I too enjoyed the thought of using paper towels instead of parchment paper. What did you use? Foil? I have disappointing food experiments too. Graham isn't sure what to think when we sit down to dinner and I say, "I tried something new . . . " :)

  5. your water cooked out. Romas are pretty high in water. next time try a different tomato. something solid like a beefsteak.