Friday, September 25, 2009

stuffed tomatoes... and crispy coatings.

i guess fall weather is getting to me.
i want crunchy. comforting. hot.

even though what excited me the most today as i was driving home were the greens and tomatoes from Bryson farm, what i was most looking forward to tonight was texture. the sublime tenderness of the veal in contrast with the crispy coating. the delicate tomato skin and the dense filling. melt-in-your-mouth squash vs crunchy fresh greens.

i left the veal to soak in milk, as this is what i remember my mother doing. then mixed in an egg with the milk.
then i coated it with panko & pea shoots from Bryson.

it was beautiful and rosy and such a contrast with the pea shoots.
it was perfect and crispy when done.

we ate this with a halved spaghetti squash (from the Potager Eardley). I wanted to do something different from the usual maple-nutmeg-butter combination. i put some butter in the cavity along with two chopped shallots (french shallots) and put it in the oven at 375. then about 15 minutes before serving i added a good tablespoon full of garlic. right before serving, some pea shoots mixed in.

the fun part of preparing dinner tonight was the stuffing of the tomatoes.
i had leftover ricotta and wanted to use it before it went to waste.

for 5 medium sized tomatoes, here is what i put in and did:

chop the top part of the tomato. empty out the cavity like you would a pumpkin. set aside.
in a bowl, mixed together these chopped ingredients
*3/4 cup ricotta (no diet stuff!!! it separates when it cooks)
*1/3 cup grated parmesan
*1/2 cup grated mozzarella
*4 pitted kalamata olives
*3 sundried tomatoes
*2 cloves garlic
*4 big spinach leaves (like huge spinach leaves, crunchy and fresh!!)
**for the topping, panko and just enough butter to hold it together as you mix it...

dry the insides of the tomatoes with a paper towel. stuff the tomatoes with the cheese filling and press down the panko mix. cook until golden on top. mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

ps. in case you hadn't noticed, food makes me happy.

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