Whew! Welcome back folks from a packed, yet hot and humid summer. Well, it’s still hot & humid here, and I didn’t really get all that much accomplished, though seemed to have so few moments to breathe. Hmmm… how did that happen? In any case, it’s back-from-vacation time, if you were so lucky to have one, and the moment is here to get hoppin’ with work projects or whatever it is you left behind during the ‘break.’
Because so many people (students, musician friends, etc.) were off gallivanting elsewhere, and because it was too hot to think about eating, Lafayette was a little slow in the inspiration area; so, I didn’t accomplish much in the way of blog articles. But I’m hoping to change all of this since the town seems to be getting back into action. One of the main events my summer included was a two-week visit by my best friend of twenty years (Christian – the one who was so sweet to have housed me for two months last year in Barcelona), and another good friend, Fred, who lives in Aurillac, France, and whom I visited several years ago during the Theatre Festival there. (Exceptional if you’ve never been. I highly recommend a venture out there.)
On their way back to Barcelona as we speak, my apartment is now much more spacious though lacking in brotherly love and iced cold beer and snack-filled afternoons (European-style), and I’m sure I’ll greatly miss sharing coffee and tartine when I get up in the morning. Another thing that will be surely missed is their great cooking. From Steak-au-Poivre to Seared Tuna to Stuffed Tomatoes to Puffy Cheese Sticks and Lamb’s Lettuce Salad with a vinaigrette, I had quite enough time during the past 14 days to feel my waistband tighten up, especially between that and the Louisiana dining-out outings. But I can’t complain. Spending time with great friends who I rarely get to see, and who LOVE a good culinary experience is more than worth it.
This blog entry, I’m including a recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes. It’s not exactly like Fred’s, but pretty close to it, I think. In any case, researching recipes sure did bring back some tantalizing memories… even if only from a few days ago. Off now to celebrate with friends for Carolyn’s birthday. Wait until I tell you she made for us the other night. Bon appétit!
6 medium tomatoes (with caps)
1 medium onion
fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, basil)
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 oz. ground beef or leftover steak
1/2 cup rice
1 tbsp. butter
Preheat oven to 400∞F.
Slice the caps off of the tomatoes and set aside. Being careful not to tear the body of the tomato, scrape out the seeds, salt the tomatoes, and place snuggly in a baking dish.
Chop the onion, herbs, and garlic, mix well with the ground meat and rice, and fold in the egg. Salt and pepper. Mix all in a food processor or blender until slightly puréed.
Spoon stuffing into tomatoes pressing down firmly. Replace the tomato caps on top of the tomatoes, and sprinkle each with small bits of butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly toasted.
Shredded cheese can also be added to the stuffing.