A “Spanish” theme was proposed for the food to be served at our last beer tasting evening.
The idea germinated after a recent cycling trip in Spain by our friends “The travelling Two” and prompted by the fact that they had bought back a wonderful Spanish ham as a tasty souvenir and were willing to share.
I thought of tapas recipes I had tried in the past but decided on a whim to try something completely new.
My dear friend Google supplied me with a multitude of options, (actually too many options)… but after a little investigation I stumbled on a recipe that looked different, tasty and quick and easy, i.e. not too fussy to make with crutches and a chair in my tiny galley kitchen.
I will post the recipe as I found it and note the alterations I made as I went.
In my version: I made 7 very large tomatoes, so I used 10 eggs, used only 5 Tablespoons of mayonnaise, (to keep it “healthy” but upon reflection, who am I kidding with 10 eggs in the mix already ?! LOL)
I used half a cup of breadcrumbs, added 6 large cloves of fresh crushed garlic and at least half a cup of freshly chopped parsley.
8 small tomatoes, or 3 large ones
4 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
6 tablespoons allioli or mayonnaise (allioli btw is a traditional Spanish Garlic mayonnaise)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon white breadcrumbs, if using large tomatoes
I have a little gadget what I scored from the local Kringloopwinkel (second-hand Shop) many years ago, it’s like a giant wire spoon that’s proved great for scooping out boiled eggs, anything in the deep fryer and in this instance, getting tomatoes in and out of hot water for quick and easy blanching.
Skin the tomatoes, first by cutting out the core with a sharp knife and making a ‘+’ incision on the other end of the tomato. Then place in a pan of boiling water for 10 seconds. (yep, I can confirm that 10 seconds is really all it takes!)
Remove and plunge into a bowl of iced or very cold water (this latter step is to stop the tomatoes from cooking and going mushy).
Slice the tops off the tomatoes, and just enough of their bases to remove the rounded ends so that they will sit squarely on the plate. Keep the tops if using small tomatoes, but discard those large tomatoes. Remove the seeds and insides, either with a teaspoon or small, sharp knife.
(This proved trickier than I thought since the tomatoes were slippery to hold without their skins on, and the sides tended to break easily… I’m going to try and scoop one out next time skin-on and then see if it stays intact after it’s 10 second dip into simmering water… I don’t know if it would work but I’d be willing to try to see if I can make this step a bit easier)
Mash the eggs with the allioli -or the mayonnaise, if using- salt, pepper and parsley.
For large tomatoes, the filling must be firm enough to be sliced. If you make your own mayonnaise, thicken it by using more egg yolks. If you use shop-bought mayonnaise or allioli, add white breadcrumbs until the mixture reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes.
(I just used less mayonnaise)
Stuff the tomatoes, firmly pressing the filling down. With small tomatoes, replace the lids at a jaunty angle. If keeping to serve later, brush them with olive oil and black pepper to prevent them from drying out.
(I was lazy and didn’t bother with the olive oil)
Cover with clingfilm and keep. (but I did do this)
Refrigerate for 1 hour, then slice with a sharp carving knife into rings.
(I chose to cut my large tomatoes into quarters instead). Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
(…next time… all my parsley was already in the filling mix)
I semi-expected these to be quite heavy, and so did a few of my Foodie friends… but everyone commented on how unexpectly light and refreshing they were, and they disappeared rapidly. Excellent! I will experiment with different sized tomatoes (smaller ones have more flavour) but due to popular demand I will definitely be making these again.