Stuffed Tomatoes Paulette Style – Tomates farcies à la Paulette

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(En Français plus bas)

Paulette était la cuisinière de ma grand mère lorsque j’étais petit. Elle avait un caractère de chien mais n’avait pas eu une vie facile et savait tenir une cuisine comme personne. Vous me connaissez plutôt bien maintenant: je n’ai aucune mémoire! Je ne me souviens jamais des noms des gens. Je ne me souviens pas de ce que j’ai fait ce matin. Je ne me souviens même pas de mon premier baiser. Par contre, croyez moi, je me souviens toujours de ce que je mange et en particulier des bons petits plats de Paulette. Ahhhh les tomates farcies de Paulette. Rien à voir avec les saloperies bouillies qu’on sert avec le steak au restaurant. Elles avaient DU GOÛT!!! Un goût acidulé et caramélisé absolument incomparable…

Seulement voilà. Paulette à disparu du paysage et la seule personne qui aurait pu me donner sa recette était ma grand mère. Ma chère grand mère ayant décidé de mourir trop jeune (à 101 ans), Stéphane s’est retrouvé gros jean comme devant. Je déteste quand les gens meurent sans avoir au moins la courtoisie de me laisser leurs recettes :0)

Mais mes chers amis, nous sommes sauvés! Après maintes expériences toutes plus ratées les unes que les autres, j’ai enfin réussi à perfectionner une recette qui aurait rendu Paulette jalouse! Je vous préviens à l’avance: il s’agit d’une recette qui pourrait bien changer votre vie! (Ça va? j’en fais assez là?)IMG_1069 _Snapseed

Pour 14 belles tomates farcies (2 à 3 par personne), il vous faudra:

  • 18 belles tomates de Marmande ou coeur de boeuf (bien charnues). Oui, 18 tomates pour 14 tomates farcies. Vous verrez pourquoi plus bas. Et au fait: les tomates farcies sont un plat d’été. La qualité du résultat, comme toujours, dépend de la qualité du produit!!!
  • 1Kg de chair à saucisse assaisonnée par votre charcutier. A Libourne, allez chez Seignat sur la place du marché.
  • 1 petite poignée de persillade fraiche (je met 2 gousses d’ail pour 1 botte de persil plat)
  • Huile d’olive
  • Un peu d’eau
  • Sel et poivre noir
  • De la mie de pain rassis (l’équivalent de trois belles poignées). Prenez du pain de campagne. La mie doit être lourde et aérée. Le pain de mie à tendance à se transformer en bouillasse une foie trempée dans le lait
  • 1/2 litre de lait
  • 2 oeufs

Les étapes:

  1. Coupez 4 de vos tomates en morceaux et placez les dans un plat à four. Couvrez les d’un petit verre d’huile d’olive et salez. Placez au four et faites les caraméliser au four à 200°C (environ 1 heure)
  2. Faites un trou dans chacune des tomates restantes et videz les. Jetez l’intérieur.
  3. Trempez la mie de pain dans le lait et ajoutez là à la chair à saucisse avec tous les autres ingrédients, y compris les tomates caramélisées coupées en petits morceaux
  4. Remplissez chaque tomate avec la farce obtenue. Faites en sorte que la farce déborde de la tomate. La farce grillera pendant la cuisson et donnera un goût encore plus prononcé au plat
  5. Mettez un peu d’eau et d’huile d’olive au fond du plat. Enfournez à 200°C pendant au moins 1 heure

Régalez vous et pensez à Paulette!!!

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Ci dessous une photo de la grand mère indigne qui à osé quitter cette terre sans me laisser les recettes de Paulette. Le petit garçon est mon père qui vient juste de souffler ses 82 bougies :0)

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Paulette was my grandmother’s cook when I was little. She had a terrible attitude but had not had an easy life and knew how to keep a kitchen running. I trust you know me quite well by now: I have a terrible memory! I never remember people’s names. I do not remember what I did this morning. I do not even remember my first kiss. But believe me, I do remember Paulette’s cuisine. Ahhhh Paulette’s stuffed tomatoes. Nothing to do with the boiled crap they serve with steak (and a nasty attitude) in Paris restaurants. I am talking about delicious, juicy, caramelized balls of pure French heaven!!!

Only Paulette has long been out of the picture (she retired in the early 80s, leaving us in the hands of her incompetent sous-chef) and the only person who could give me her recipe was my grandmother. My dear grandmother who decided to die too young (101 years). I hate it when people decide to die and forget to leave their recipes to me. So rude! :0)

But my dear friends, I have great news! After many failed experiments, I finally managed to develop a recipe that would have made Paulette proud! I must warn you in advance: it is a recipe that could change your life! (drama, drama, drama…)


For 14 beautiful stuffed tomatoes (2-3 per person), you will need:

  • 18 big, meaty tomatoes. Yes, 18 tomatoes for 14 stuffed tomatoes. You’ll see why below. And by the way: stuffed tomatoes are a summer dish. The quality of the result, as always, depends on the quality of the produce!
  • 2 pounds of sausage stuffing seasoned by your butcher. In Libourne, go to Seignat!
  • 1 small fistful of fresh persillade (I put 2 cloves garlic for 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley)
  • 1 big glass of olive oil
  • A small glass of water
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Stale bread (the equivalent of three big fists worth). The bread should be heavy and airy and the crust taken out. Bad bread has a tendency to turn into a mush when soaked in milk
  • 1/8 of a gallon of milk (3 glasses?)
  • 2 eggs

The steps:

  1. Cut 4 of your 18 tomatoes into pieces and place them in a baking dish. Pour a small glass of olive oil and a bit of salt. Put in the oven and let the tomatoes caramelize at 400°F (about 1 hour)
  2. Make a hole in each of the remaining tomatoes and throw away all of the inside
  3. Dip the bread in the milk and add it to the sausage meat with all the other ingredients, including the caramelized tomatoes cut into small pieces
  4. Fill each tomato with stuffing. Make sure some of it comes out of the tomato. Broiled stuffing gives an even stronger flavor to the dish
  5. Put a little water and olive oil in the dish and bake at 400°F for at least 1 hour

Enjoy and have a drink in Paulette’s honor!

Above is a picture of the rude grandmother who forgot to give me Paulette’s recipes before she passed… The little boy in the picture is my dad who just turned 82 last week :0)

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81 comments

  1. Je m’interroge : pourquoi jeter la chair évidée des tomates ? Pour ma part, je fais revenir des oignons puis j’ajoute la chair de tomate restante pour faire une délicieuse sauce. Si je n’en ai pas besoin dans l’immédiat, je la congèle et je suis bien contente de pouvoir la ressortir lorsque j’en ai besoin.
    Et, je confirme, les tomates farcies maison, c’est délicieux. :-)

    • Je jette la chair à cause des pépins et aussi parce que la chair externe est plus rapide à confire… Je crois que toutes les techniques sont bonnes tant qu’on prend le temps de les faire cuire longtemps.

  2. Oh mais, c’est aussi la recette de Germaine ! ;) Non, non… pas celle qui se fait enlever par des extra terrestes dans une Pub pour… non, non, Germaine, ma maman ;) Je me souviens que la farce nous ne l’achetions pas chez notre charcutier, mais chez notre boucher car celui-ci en faisait une ou il mettait un peu de veau… quant aux tomates, nous allions les cueuillir au jardin où mon père en plantait tant et tant…

  3. Lovely! I will definitely be cooking this soon :) I think I’ll make some stuffed tomato, some stuffed red sweet pepper together. When I was growing up in Ukraine my mom made stuffed pepper, egg plant, potato in the summer. And with all the produce we grew yourself with no chemicals, it tasted and smelled soooo good!

      • Ah, there it is! Anyways, I would have made exactly as you said, but I was very hungry (could not wait 2 hours!) and didn’t have the exact ingredients on hand, so I had to make due – but it was delicious!!!!! Brilliant call on roasting the stuffed tomatoes for a full hour. I almost pulled them out at 45 min because they *looked* done, but I’m so glad I didn’t. They were perfectly cooked and the different consistencies of the inner stuffing, crispy stuffing, and almost melt-on-your-fork tomatoes were brilliant contrasts. I definitely raised my wine glass to both you and Paulette.

        • That’s great! It is almost the end of the tomato season here so I am planning to make one last big batch this week. After that it will have to be zucchinis for the next 10 months :(

  4. J’ai testé la recette mais avec de la viande de boeuf hachée et tout ce que j’ai pu trouver dans le réfrigérateur de ma fille australienne (jambon blanc fumé, persil de son bout de jardin,…) : la recette est excellente ! Bravo Stéphane

  5. Comme d’habitude les photos font saliver, la première est superbe, quand à l’idée de faire carameliser les tomates avant c’est fichtrement bien pensé ! Pas si gros jean que ça le Stéphane :)

  6. Oh YUM!! It seems the heat in Houston is taking it’s toll on the tomato production. I am lucky enough to see several baby tomato starts on my plants, but they aren’t growing too fast… Maybe it would help if I watered them more, and gave them some organic ferilizer… I am hopeful that the plants will continue to produce, even if slowly, so I can have fresh garden grown tomatoes this fall… Then I will make these! :-)

    • I just couldn’t live without tomatoes. You are so lucky to have some in your garden. I think I will plant some next year!! Winter is my favorite season. I only wish we could have great tomatoes all year! ;)

  7. What a delightful picture of your grand mère! Doesn’t she look chic? And the tomatoes look wonderful. You’re right. The ones in restaurants these days, the world over, are mostly just awful.

    • Thanks Michelle! Yes, some restaurants just can’t be bothered anymore… I ear for the future of French cuisine! …

  8. I will definitely have to try this recipe. We love stuffed tomatoes and I too have been struggling to find the right combination – to get a flavorful, moist stuffed wonder! I love your story – great memories (even if they are a bit sketchy!) – I’m sure it makes the food taste even better! Thank for writing your posts in French & English – I get to practice reading French and then check my understanding with your English. Now, if I could only develop a better accent and not sound so much like an American!

    • Thank you so much Laila! Stuffed tomatoes are the ideal diet food as they pack everything your body needs. + they are perfect for portion control… ;)

  9. Absolutely gorgeous stuffed tomatoes! I feel a sense of urgency to make these and I don’t get that sense too often. Best to you on adjusting your eating habits! It has to be one of the most difficult things in life for me too. I love to eat and I love to eat foods I shouldn’t eat too much of! I think, like you, having a cheat day is helpful. Otherwise I start to feel really deprived. :)

  10. Love the story, Stephane. I would have liked Paulette. My goal would have been to make her laugh. Please would you check the recipes’s tomato quantities in the instructions (steps 1 and 2)? Right now it’s a bit ambiguous how many should get caramelized in the oven and how many remaining tomatoes get a big hole punched in them. (Assuming 4 and 14, but others might need clarification.) Thank you!

  11. You are so funny! I love practicing my French by reading your posts in French first and then checking my accuracy by reading it in English. Loved this story, and I’m going to try my hand at the Tomates farcies a la Paulette!

    • Do let me know how they turn out darling! The same recipe works quite well with zucchini. It just a little more blend as zucchini is blend. So maybe add some tabasco and/or cheese…

    • Thanks Lilia! I do like the new format too. People can see more posts at once… Thank you for all your lovely comments on my posts. It means a lot to me and motivates me to do more with the blog!! :) :)

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