October 13, 2008

stuffed tomatoes save the day

This past Thursday I was fortunate enough to have the day off work for Yom Kippor. I did not fast on this Jewish day of atonement, but I did spend the day in meditation. In the kitchen.

Since it is so unusual for me to have a day off, the Trainer decided to stay home for the morning to spend time with me. His day did not begin so well. He awoke to find that we were out of coffee filters and had to trek out in search of them, finally finding them at the place I would have assumed would his first stop.

While making the coffee he burned his pancake, then tore it up in a pique, muttering how it was going to be such a bad day. I salvaged breakfast with some Tropical Squash Bread from the freezer and things calmed down as we sat with our coffee for a few minutes.

Soon after retreating to our nest it was time to start the special lunch or Bison Stuffed Tomatoes that I had planned for our morning together. I was interrupted in this by the real day saver, thanks to my friends C and J. Knowing that I would be home, C sent me an Edible Arrangement as a belated birthday gift. (J is currently deployed overseas) The Trainer answered the door, and nearly turned the delivery guy away since we weren't expecting anything, let alone a huge bouquet of fruit.

We were so surprised, and the Trainer so impressed, that everything had to stop so that I could open and photograph the masterpiece before the fruit was eaten. This, of course, put me behind in my lunch preparations. On the other hand, it brought us together and I've never seen the Trainer eat so much fruit at one time.

I quickly got back to our lunch, preheating the oven, sauteing the meat, scooping out the tomatoes. All with the Trainer hovering at my shoulder asking when we were going to eat and reminding me that we said lunch would be at 11:30. Never tell a Hungry Man (or as I sometimes call him, my Very Hungry Caterpillar) that something will take 30 minutes in the oven. With hungry masculine selective hearing they hear 30 minutes and can't comprehend the prep time. Luckily I got the tomatoes into the oven and they didn't take as long in the oven as I had estimated.

We enjoyed our lunch, and the Trainer was quite impressed with the stuffed tomatoes. The day was officially saved! I had him to myself for another short hour before he headed to the gym and I got down and dirty making burgers for the next two weeks.

Bison Stuffed Tomatoes

1lb- ground bison meat, or other ground meat
1- red onion, chopped
3- cloves garlic, chopped
6Tbsp- chopped fresh cilantro
1Tbdp- chili powder
1tsp- ground cumin
1tsp- kosher salt
1/2 tsp- fresh ground black pepper
5- large ripe tomatoes
1/3 cup- almond meal
1Tbsp- olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large skillet saute the onion and garlic with a small amount of vegetable oil.

Add the bison meat, 3Tbsp cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and brwon the meat, breaking it up into small chunks.

While the meat is cooking prepare the tomatoes. Cut of the tops, about 1cm from the base of the stem. Scoop out insides into a bowl. Save the flesh and discard the seeds.

Chop the tomato flesh and tops and add to the meat.

Arrange the tomatoes in a foil lined baking dish.

Fill each tomato as full as possible with the bison mixture. Sprinkle reserved cilantro on top.

In a small bowl toss together almond meal and olive oil.

Top each a tomato with a small amount of almond meal mixture and shake a little salt over the whole pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tomatoes have split thier skins and almond meal topping is toasted light brown.

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