Chuck some spice and cheese into a tomato, cover it in breadcrumbs and fry until you get an amalgam of wonderful yumminess in a vaguely Scotch egg like form factor.
by John Pope on May 27, 2016
There are some things that just go together.
Gin & Tonic
Premier league footballers & rape allegations
but more pertinently…
Cheese & tomato – think pizza, toasted sandwiches, any pasta sauce topped with parmesan
Chilli & tomato – think arrabiata, chilli con carne, goulash
Put all of those (latter) things together, add a healthy dose of garlic (it is allegedly a superfood after all), breadcrumb, fry and it and it would be impossible not to end up with something fantastic. Which is exactly what happens when you follow the following…
The key thing here is to use a tomato that is big enough to be stuffed with some interesting bits and pieces, but small enough to cook through quickly and be yummy. This isn’t a big stodgy main course thing, it’s a civilised snack or a lovely compliment to a meaty main. (Think Ruby Jewel rather than Beefsteak tomatoes)
Tomatoes aside you will need a chilli (or more than one if you are feeling feisty), take your pick of varieties but a birdseye is a good place to start. If you can find mozzarella balls (pearls) then it will make life easy, if not you are going to need to cut regular sized chunks.
- Medium sized tomatoes6
- Garlic cloves2
- Birds Eye Chilli1
- Coarse Salt
- Medium eggs2
- Plain Flour
- ButtermilkA splish
- Groundnut oilLots
Boil some water, and lightly score the bottom of the tomatoes. You should cut through the skin but not into the flesh. Briefly pop them into the hot water to allow you to remove the skins.
With the tomatoes naked(ed) slice off the stalk end, stick an apple corer, melon baller, the handle of a teaspoon or whatever else you may happen to have to hand into the cavity and scoop out just enough of the middle to leave room to stuff them. You don’t want to split the ‘shell’ so be very gentle with innard extraction.
Once you have the ‘shells’ ready put them aside. Smush the garlic, salt and chopped chilli in a pestle and mortar (or crush the threesome together in your preferred fashion).
In measured scoops pop a bit of the garlic/chilli smush into each tomato. This writer found this incredibly satisfying, even going so far as to squish in more mozarella if the fruit looks a bit undernourished.
Once the tomatoes are well and truly stuffed (not as Carry On as it sounds), prepare four receptacles containing the flour, egg, breadcrumbs and buttermilk. Prepare each parcel for frying by dunking in this order:
Flour -> Egg -> Breadcrumbs -> Buttermilk -> Breadcrumbs
Leave the coated fruit to settle on a separate dish/plate
Test the heat of the oil for burning capacity by chucking in a bit of coagulated breadcrumb mix, wait until it turns golden brown rather than instant charcoal. When it is a sensible temperature fry the tomatoes a couple at a time for about five minutes, turning regularly, until they are golden brown.
Have some kitchen towel ready to pop the crunchy delights onto to as they come out of the oil. Drain them well, then pop the next couple in and repeat until the whole lot are cooked.
Serve with a fleshy (we had a grilled pork shoulder) accompaniment of your choice, or just with a green salad and drizzled with a basil vinaigrette.
As every recipe on this website you can accompany it with water, but white wine will work much better.