Friday, September 12, 2008

46. BL-Tomatoes (p. 26)

The concept for this recipe* is simple: BLTs without the bread. These tasty hors d'oeuvres are simply a hollowed-out cherry tomato stuffed with a mixture of shredded iceberg lettuce, crumbled bacon, mayonnaise and salt and pepper. The result is something that is fancy, yet familiar.

I could just tell from reading the recipe that these were going to be a hit at my family's Labor Day cookout, so I doubled the recipe so that we wouldn't run out. That was a good call, since they disappeared pretty qucikly.

I was lucky to find 24 large-ish, ripe cherry tomatoes at the local mega-mart (sometimes they surprise me with good produce). The first thing you do is to cut a very thin slice off the bottom of each tomato so that they won't roll around on the platter. Then you slice off the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the centers with a melon baller. The one-inch diameter tomatoes called for by The Book is an absolute minimum, otherwise, scooping out the centers with a melon baller will be a frustrating, if not impossible task. But, don't go much bigger than one inch, since as Teena noted, these things should be single-bite-sized, or else you'll be wearing the "BL" filling.

The filling couldn't be easier. First, you crisp up some bacon (I used turkey bacon without any ill effects to the finished product) and crumble it. Then you finely shred some iceberg lettuce. Mix it all up with some mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and stuff the filling into the tomato shells. This last step proved to be a little time consuming, and I don't think that I'd try to make these for a great big party. Unless you had lots of help, stuffing a hundred of these babies would take all day, and I'm guessing that they need to be eaten pretty soon after being made, so making them in advance probably isn't an option. But for a small party, they're fun and delicious.

Date Cooked: August 31, 2008
Degree of Difficulty: Medium
Rating: A-

*The recipe is not available on-line

1 comment:

Liz C said...

Could you use a plastic pastry bag (or zip top bag) with a corner cut off to 'inject' the stuffing? I guess it would have to be a big hole to accommodate the chunks, but it might work. Maybe?