September 12, 2003 at 9:47 a.m.
Let’s do tomatoes. With school activities and busy fall days ahead, this “top of the stove” recipe is ready in just 30 minutes.
TOMATO, RICE AND BEEF SKILLET
1/4 c. olive oil or canola oil
1/2 lb. sirloin or top round steak, cut into 1-1/2x1/4x3/4 inch strips
2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 1-1/2 c.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 large fresh tomatoes, finely chopped (peeled if you don’t like skins on)
1 t. dried oregano leaves (1 T. fresh, snipped)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/4 c. water
2-1/2 c. cooked rice (about 1 cup raw)
Heat oil in skillet; saute beef over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add onions and garlic.* Stir-fry 4-5 minutes. Stir in rest of ingredients, except rice. Bring to a boil; cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in rice and heat through. Serves 4.
*I add about 1/2 c. diced green pepper at this point.
Jazz up your plain sliced tomatoes with some herbs for a change.
HERBED TOMATO SALAD
6 large, firm tomatoes sliced 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick
1 medium sweet (Spanish) or white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c. finely chopped green onion, using most of green tops
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. dried thyme leaves or 1 t. fresh, snipped
1 t. dried mint or 1 T. fresh, snipped
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive or canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
Combine tomatoes and Spanish onion in large bowl.
In small bowl, combine rest of ingredients.
Add to tomato mixture, mixing gently.
Chill two hours. Toss lightly before serving. Serves 8.
This tomato dish is breaded but quite different from fried.
BREADED RIPE TOMATOES
8-10 small whole tomatoes (plum tomatoes, the size of a golf ball work well) peeled and cored
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted
1 c. crushed saltine crackers (28 square crackers)
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. Cheese Whiz
2 T. milk
1/8 t. cayenne pepper (ground red pepper)
Dip each tomato in melted butter.
In small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Roll tomatoes in crumb mixture, gently pressing crumbs onto tomatoes.
Place tomatoes in single layer in a 1 qt. shallow baking dish (a bread pan works). Combine any crumb and butter mixture that is left and sprinkle over tomatoes. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees (that’s correct) or until tomatoes begin to brown a little and are heated through.
Melt Cheese Whiz and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat or in a glass bowl in microwave, stirring often, until bubbly. Stir in pepper.
Put tomatoes in serving dish and drizzle sauce over. Serves 4-6.
Don’t forget to plan ahead for the Jello-O cookoff at Chisago Lakes Lutheran Church, in Center City, Oct. 5. There are women’s and men’s categories, salads, desserts, sugar-free and regular gelatin categories and each category will have six classes, which are taste, form and function (ingredients, texture, etc.), presentation, traditional, creativity and originality and “judges whim” (kinda like the pastor’s discretionary fund).
Here is another gelatin recipe you might think about. It is easily prepared and delicious, plus it’s been around for a long time. Dress it up with tomato “roses” and fresh parsley and you will have quite a traditional presentation.
1 - 4 serving size pkg. (small pkg.) lemon flavor gelatin
1 c. boiling tomato juice or vegetable juice cocktail
2/3 c. tomato juice or vegetable juice cocktail
1 T. lemon juice
1-2 T. prepared horseradish
1/2 t. onion powder (optional)
Dissolve gelatin in boiling tomato juice; add rest of ingredients. Pour into 9x5 inch pan or 2-cup mold. Chill until firm (4 hours). Unmold onto serving plate and garnish with lemon twists, radish roses, fresh parsley, etc. Serves 4.
Thought for the day:
Some more tomato tips for you:
•Do not store tomatoes in the fridge unless they’re over-ripe.
•When canning, keep this in mind––plan to use 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 lbs. of fresh tomatoes for one pint.
•For one pint juice, allow 1-1/2-2 lbs. fresh tomatoes.
•Put unripened tomatoes with other fruit, especially pears or apples, it speeds up ripening in a bag.