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Stuffed Tomatoes

by victor

I became obsessed with stuffed tomatoes and other stuffed vegetables after trying a fantastic Greek stuffed vegetable recipe. The Greek recipe was meatless, but the addition of feta cheese more than compensated for the lack of meat and added a healthy portion of protein.

Stuffed tomatoes in a baking dish.

Still, I love meat and would more often than not choose something with meat in it. If you like stuffed vegetables and you love meat, you will really appreciate this recipe. So far these are likely the best stuffed tomatoes I have ever tasted. Not only do they taste really good, they are quite lean and healthy. Even the sauce is on the healthier side, though it doesn’t taste like it is.

Stuffed tomato with sauce.

This particular recipe is of Azerbajdjani origin and is called ‘tomato dolmas’, or simply stuffed tomatoes.  Dolma is the name of a stuffed vegetable common to the Middle East and the surrounding regions of Balkans, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Dolmas are commonly made with tomatoes, peppers, onions, zucchini and eggplant. The stuffing may or may not include meat. It’s also common to stuff dolmas into grape leaves.

You may be surprised by the ratio of fresh herbs in the stuffing, I know, that’s a lot of herbs. But, go ahead and give it a try. You’ll be glad you did. The herbs do not feel excessive or overpowering. Instead, they make the stuffing phenomenally flavorful. I would not change a thing to the stuffing.

Sauce for stuffed tomatoes.

What sets this recipe apart from all other stuffed tomato recipes that I have tried is the use of a sauce. And let me tell you, this sauce is out-of-this-world delicious. Not surprisingly, we ran out because everyone in the house wanted to get a taste after hearing my food moans in the kitchen. It goes without saying that the tasting went well beyond one teaspoon or even two.

Ridiculously flavorful and delicious stuffed tomatoes with beef and rice, called tomato dolmas. Served with hot tomato sauce that is out-of-this-world good.

Stuffed Tomatoes

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 12 tomatoes
Author: Victor

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 454 g beef (chuck recommended but you can use any other cut)
  • 12 medium size tomatoes
  • 1 cup 150 g cooked rice
  • 1 medium 100 g onion
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch 40 g fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch 40 g fresh dill, finely chopped
  • A heaping tsp 6 g kosher salt
  • Salt and pepper for sprinkling inside the tomato shells
  • For the sauce:
  • Tomato flesh from the 12 tomatoes above
  • 2 small or 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 heaping Tbsp 25 g all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp 50 g sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp 50 g butter
  • 1 tsp 5 g kosher salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Grind the meat together with the onions on a medium size plate. Add the cooked rice, the salt and the chopped coriander and dill. Mix well and set aside.
    Ridiculously flavorful and delicious stuffed tomatoes with beef and rice, called tomato dolmas. Served with hot tomato sauce that is out-of-this-world good.
  • Slice off the bottom (or top, whichever you prefer) side of the tomatoes with a sharp knife, cutting about 1/4 - 3/8-inch from the edge. Carefully scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon, making sure you do not rip the outer shell. Put the tomato flesh in a separate bowl, mash with your hands and set aside until needed. Place the tomato shells in the baking dish, spacing them out evenly. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper inside the shells. Stuff them with the meat and rice stuffing, replace the tops, and place the tomatoes into a deep baking dish. Roast at 375F for 60 minutes or until the internal temperature of the stuffing reaches 165F. I like using my BBQ thermometer with an alarm. This way I don't have to worry about my stuffed tomatoes and they always come out perfectly cooked.
    Ridiculously flavorful and delicious stuffed tomatoes with beef and rice, called tomato dolmas. Served with hot tomato sauce that is out-of-this-world good.
  • Ridiculously flavorful and delicious stuffed tomatoes with beef and rice, called tomato dolmas. Served with hot tomato sauce that is out-of-this-world good.
  • Ridiculously flavorful and delicious stuffed tomatoes with beef and rice, called tomato dolmas. Served with hot tomato sauce that is out-of-this-world good.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter starts to get dark, add the chopped onions and saute until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. After that add the flour and keep sauteing, frequently stirring, until the flour is well incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the mashed tomato flesh with all the juice and saute for another 5-7 minutes, until the sauce has thickend. Finally, add the sour cream and saute, frequently stirring, until well incorporated, about 1 minute.
  • Remove the tomatoes from the oven. Take off the tops, pour a couple ot tablespoons of hot souce over each tomato, put the tops back on and serve immediately.

With the sauce:

Ridiculously flavorful and delicious stuffed tomatoes with beef and rice, called tomato dolmas. Served with hot tomato sauce that is out-of-this-world good.

Without the sauce:

Ridiculously flavorful and delicious stuffed tomatoes with beef and rice, called tomato dolmas. Served with hot tomato sauce that is out-of-this-world good.

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2 comments

Alan Brown August 13, 2018 - 1:38 am

I have to say, I somehow happened onto your blog through Pinterest. Your rustic chicken caught my attention. I plan to make it in a slow cooker, but with the pre browning of the skin and onions and garlic first. Hopefully the leg quarters will be thawed out today by mid afternoon.
The reason I am leaving a comment is that I have been perusing your 13 pages of recipes and find that you are a lot like me in your passion for cooking great tasting food. I don’t have nearly your expertise in cooking, but I am learning everyday. That is the beauty of your blog. You’re very thorough in your explanations as to why you do what you do when preparing food. I can see that you have put huge time and commitment in to this passionate hobby. I am grateful that you share your hard work with the public. I look forward to making many of your well thought out and well executed recipes. For now, again thank you.
Sincerely
Alan Brown
PS I am a transplanted Cajun boy. 40 years born and raised in New Orleans Louisiana. Then 25 years ago I married a damned Yankee and moved to lower Michigan. I do quite well making a roux. I love any kind of Cajun/Creole food. But I understand there are other flavor profiles out in the world and I believe I have found a treasure trove on your blog.

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victor September 2, 2018 - 10:24 pm

Hi Alan, I am glad to hear that you found something new and useful on my blog. Thank you for the kind words and for sharing my blog.
P.S. I have to apologize for responding so late, your post was erroneously marked as spam and has been sitting in spam folder until I found it today.

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