Our wood fired stuffed tomato filled with tuna salad and melted cheese over the top!

Our wood fired stuffed tomato filled with tuna salad and melted cheese over the top!

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Wood fired-stuffed tomato–With tomatoes readily available most any time of the year, I’ve got a great recipe for a stuffed tomato that is healthy on the body and waistline.  But before stuffing these tomatoes, I’m going to introduce them to smoke on my gas grill equipped with wood chunks in cherry and maple, for an added depth of flavor that works so well with acidic tomato.

Get to the farmer’s market, grocery store or your own garden, and pick out some large tomatoes.  Then meet me at the grill kitchen for this great recipe.

No Time at All Prep Then Grill

Two zone cooking smoker box on the right side and tomatoes on the NON heat side

#smokerbox

 For this recipe, you want to be sure you pick or purchase firm tomatoes so they can hold up to the heat when being wood fired.  I’ve selected (6) tomatoes of about equal size to ensure that these will be ready at the same time.

Pre-heat your grill and include a smoker box of wood chunks – mine holds (3) double filet chunks sourced from SmokinLicious®– using a two-zone grilling set up.  Place the smoker box on the side of the grill that is lit.  While the grill is heating up and the chunks have a chance to start smoldering, return to the kitchen and cut the top off each tomato.  Using the knife blade, scrap the membranes and seeds free.  Then using a spoon, scoop out the inside of the tomato.  I like to save the inside for adding to sauces or even a rice dish.  Once all tomatoes are clean, place on a tray with equal spacing and add the tray to the unlit side of the grill.  You should see the wood chunks smoking steadily at this point.

Tasting Notes: There is no rule regarding the type of wood you should use for the smoking.  Just be sure it is only hardwood and not a completely dried out piece of wood or you’ll find it will burn up almost immediately.  Remember, you want smoke not flames from the wood.

Bringing Health to Stuffing

With the tomatoes cleaned and de-seeded, they now will tenderize on the gas grill equipped with the smoker box of wood chunks.  I prefer to use wood chunks in my smoker box to produce a more steady and longer duration of smoke vapor.  While the tomatoes are grilling, I begin on the tuna pesto filling.

ouir albacore tuna in a bowl with spices and peas added ready to mixTaking three cans of all white albacore tuna, I drain these and place the tuna in a bowl.  To that I add ¼ cup thawed peas, ¼ cup medium grated Swiss cheese, 1/3 cup pesto, and fresh ground pepper.  Mix all this together until it just binds.  If needed, add additional pesto.  Now, we’re ready to stuff the tomatoes so back to the grill.

After the tomatoes show some curling in of the cut top and the inside begins to dry a bit, it’s time to remove the tomatoes from the grill and stuff them with our tuna pesto mixture.  I like to mound these tomatoes high with filling and then add two thin slices of Swiss cheese to the tops.  Back on the grill using the unlit side, grill lid down, to allow the cheese to melt fully.  Now you’re ready to serve.

Today, mine our served up with a curry-ginger chicken drumstick.  A simple recipe using a simple grilling technique that lets you enjoy the benefits of fresh tomato.  Just think of all the other stuffing recipes you can use with these wood-fired tomato beauties!

Our pan of wood fired stuffed tomato coming off the grill!

Tasting Notes: I’ve used pesto in this recipe but you certainly can make a traditional tuna salad using mayonnaise, onions, pickle, etc.  Essentially, whatever you like with your tuna.  And of course, you can design other fillings other than tuna.

What’s your favorite stuffed tomato recipe?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to wood fired stuffed tomato and other Smoked Recipes

More recipes like this one:

-SUCCULENT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

-GIVING AN EDGE TO SMOKY COCKTAIL SAUCE

-COAL FIRE CAULIFLOWER RICE WITH TOMATO

-SEASONAL SMOKEY BAKED APPLES WITH SWEET STUFFING

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke- you know we wood fire everything, this time it is a stuffed tomato with Tuna salad! Refreshing

Smoky Cocktail Sauce is very easy to do by simply smoking the Tomatoes for the recipe!

Smoky Cocktail Sauce is very easy to do by simply smoking the Tomatoes for the recipe!

GIVING AN EDGE TO SMOKY COCKTAIL SAUCE

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You’ve seen me use the Orion Cooker before for cooking and smoking more traditional items.  Now, see how I produced a great hot smoked tomato using a blend of Sugar Maple and Wild Cherry wood chips to bring subtle smoke flavor.   Once smoked, I take the smoked tomato and produce a smoked tomato cocktail sauce that has so many uses.

Easy Hot Smoking

I like to smoke food items that take 40 minutes or less on the Orion Cooker that has been used first for a longer protein cook.  Remember, this cooker is a convection cooker so the heat retention can’t be beat.  It’s just perfect for our plum tomatoes which can be smoked in 30 minutes or less.

Simply take plum or on the vine tomatoes, and cut in half.  Place directly on the grill grate.  Use the residual wood chips and briquettes already in the Orion Cooker to smoke the tomatoes.  Once smoked, remove and use in your favorite recipe or store in the refrigerator for later use.

Cocktail Sauce Ingredients

With the tomato halves smoked, it’s time to gather the other ingredients needed for our Smoked Tomato Cocktail Sauce.  In addition to these ingredients, you’ll also need a food processor.

  • Olive oil – about 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 chipotle in adobo or 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
  • 3 heaping tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Chopped cilantro leaves – about 2 tablespoons worth
  • 12 smoked tomato halves

Processing for Flavor Outcome

Using a food processor, you will add all the ingredients for our smoky, spicy cocktail sauce:

Tomatoes, honey, prepared horseradish, chipotle in adobe sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, cilantro leaves, salt, and fresh ground pepper.  Add just a touch of olive oil.  Process all the ingredients until slightly smooth in consistency.  Remove, and place in a serving bowl or you can store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

So Many Uses

There are two distinct flavors that work so well in this unique cocktail sauce: spicy chipotle and smoky tomato.  Combined with the freshness of cilantro and lime juice, a beautiful balance of flavor develops that makes this perfect as a dipping sauce for calamari, shrimp or used as a sauce on your favorite fish.  I’ve had guests who simply want to treat it like a salsa and scoop up some sauce with tortilla chips.

Whatever you decide to use this smoky cocktail sauce with, you sure won’t be disappointed with the flavors.  Remember too, you can smoke the tomatoes in the Orion Cooker, on a charcoal grill, on a gas grill with wood chunks, in a stove top smoker pan, or even with a handheld food smoker.  The choice is yours for the same easy, great flavor.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

-WOOD FIRED LOBSTER TAILS CHILI

-STUFFED SQUID COOKED ON THE PLANCHA WITH SMOKINLICIOUS®

Dr Smoke- "

Dr Smoke- “Try this recipe to avoid any “boring” sauces for your dipping pleasure. Avoid double dipping!”

 

 

Wood fired stuffed tomato with Rice!

Wood fired stuffed tomato with Rice!

SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

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It’s tomato season!  Boy, do we have a great technique for you to try on your charcoal grill as well as a tasty recipe to make- wood fired stuffed tomato.

Bring 8 large tomatoes in from the garden or purchased at the fresh market, clean out the charcoal grill, fire pit, or fireplace, and give a few hours to a great cooking experience and exceptionally flavorful recipe.

Lighting a Fire for Hot Embers

Coal cooking can be a very easy method of cooking foods once you know how to make and manage the fire.  First, I am going to use only hardwood for my fire as I want to produce as much flavor as I can into the cooking area.  For tomatoes, I am using Beech hardwood in the SmokinLicious® Single Filet Wood chunk.  Once lit, I let the wood burn down to hot embers before even thinking about cooking.  Oh, and the lid stays off my grill – I’m using a kettle from Stok®, while the wood burns down.  I wait until the coal bed shows gray embers on top with hot red spots on the bottom.  I’ve used a mesh screen in the charcoal area, to keep all my coals from ending up in the ash collection area, since many will get to be quite small.

Preparing the Tomatoes for Hot Coals

With our tomatoes washed, it’s time to prepare them for the coals.  First, I cut about ¼ of the way around the top.  I’ll be cooking both the body of the tomato as well as the tops.  Next, I add a high heat roasting rack to my raked coals.  Try to make the coal bed as even as possible to keep the tomatoes balanced.  First cooking time will be about 12 minutes before any turning needs to be done.  You will see bubbling juices in the tomatoes which will makes these red beauties even more flavorful.

Coal Firing to Unbelievable Flavor

After placing the tomatoes on the coal rack and leaving for about 12 minutes, it’s time to turn them.  You’ll see how the outer skin will start to flake.  When I get some cooking time on the entire tomato, I separate the cut top from the body and coal roast the tops separately to get a nice char.  Once cooked through, which takes a total time of about 22 minutes, I remove the tomatoes to a cooling rack.  Once cooled enough to handle, it’s time to take all the wood fired pulp out of each tomato leaving the charred skins as the base to my wood fired stuffed tomato recipe.

Fresh Recipe Ingredients

With our fresh tomatoes coal fired over hardwood, it’s time to start on our recipe.  First, we need to remove all the tomato pulp from the charred tomatoes.  You can do this with a spoon or the way I like to do it – with my fingers.  Place the pulp only in a blender keeping as much of the shell of the tomato as possible for our base in the roasting pan.  Then blend until a puree is formed.  Meanwhile gather the other ingredients needed to make wood fired stuffed tomatoes:

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 8 medium to large tomatoes
  • 2 anchovy fillets mashed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced (feel free to use hot pepper as well)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
  • Fresh ground pepper

Herb Rice Mixture & Anchovy Butter

This recipe allows you to use any rice you prefer.  I like the texture of brown rice for this dish.  As you cook the rice according to the package directions, you can start on the flavor mixture for the cooked rice.  First, combine the 2 anchovy filets with the 2 tablespoons softened butter.  I use a mortar and pestle.  This will be added to the hot rice as soon as it is cooked.  In a bowl, combine the tomato puree, diced pepper, parsley, basil, Parmesan cheese, and fresh ground pepper.  Mix until just combined.

With all the ingredients combined, it’s time to put it all together.  First, to our anchovy butter, brown rice, I add the tomato puree mixture combining well.  Taking the tomato shells, I place them in a roasting pan that has been coated with oil.  Next, comes the rice mixture, layering it in making sure all the tomatoes are covered.  Last, top the rice mixture with the coal fired tomato tops.  Now this pan is ready for a 350°F oven to bake for about 30 minutes.

Preserve the Flavors

After cooking our beautiful tomatoes over hot coals made from 100% beech hardwood, we removed the wood flavored pulp and produced a tomato puree.  To that, we added Parmesan, basil, parsley, red pepper, and fresh ground pepper.  Infusing anchovy butter into hot brown rice, we pour the tomato puree into the rice.  Our wood fired stuffed tomato is made by layering the tomato shells in a roasting pan, then topping with the tomato puree-rice mixture, and the charred tomato tops.  Then bake for 30 minutes in a 350°F oven, this is the perfect dish to serve with rustic bread.  Stock up on your coal fired tomatoes – they can well – so you can enjoy your take on this wood fired stuffed tomatoes.

Now that we spurred your imagination with this recipe, we need your comment and rating, so subscribe and follow us so you don’t miss a thing.   Finally, suggestions are always welcome as well on recipes and techniques you want to learn about.  We are your source for all things wood-fired, providing tips, techniques, recipes, and the science behind the fire.

 

Related recipes and tips:

EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

Ember cooked Sweet Peppers

TOP 10 VEGETABLES TO COOK IN HOT EMBERS

HOW TO TURN YOUR CHARCOAL GRILL INTO A SMOKER

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Tomato lovers will rejoice with our take on a stuffed tomato that’s coal fired.”

Wood ember roasted Tomato stuffed with Rice!

Wood ember roasted Tomato stuffed with Rice!