Sometimes, the best side dishes result from taking a large vegetable such as a ripe bell pepper or tomato and stuffing it with a well-seasoned mixture of meat, vegetables, and spices. In southern kitchens, many agree that the best types of tomatoes to stuff are Creole tomatoes due to their unique sweetness that pairs nicely with multiple types of stuffing. The recipe blog Louisiana Cookin certainly agrees with combining Creole tomatoes with stuffing, as their recipe for shrimp-stuffed Creole tomatoes results in a savory, spicy, and rich side dish that’s so flavorful that you might promote it to the main course before the summer’s over.
- ½ pound of medium-sized fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 8 whole Creole or beefsteak tomatoes
- ½ cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 cup of long-grain rice
- 1½ cups of chicken broth
- ¼ cup of dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ½ cup of a yellow onion, diced
- ¼ cup of celery, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided
- ¼ cup of seasoned panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
- A bunch of freshly-chopped chives, for garnish
- ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1¼ teaspoons of kosher salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
- You’ll want to begin this delicious and delightful recipe for Creole tomatoes stuffed with shrimp by removing the core from your Creole tomatoes with a small knife, such as a paring knife. Afterward, use a small spoon to scoop out the center of the tomatoes and place your 8 Creole or beefsteak tomatoes onto a 13×9-inch baking dish.
- Then you’ll place your tablespoon of butter into a Dutch oven and pour vegetable oil over the butter. Melt your oil-covered butter in the Dutch oven and once it’s melted, you’ll add your finely-chopped clove of garlic, diced celery, diced yellow onion, 1 teaspoon of salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to the Dutch oven. You’ll then cook your vegetables in the melted butter until they are properly softened, which should take about five minutes.
- Next, add in your tablespoon of tomato paste and continue to cook your ingredients for another two minutes. At which point, you’ll add in your can of fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, and white wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and stir them into the rest of the ingredients.
- Increase the Dutch oven’s heat to medium-high and bring the contents of your pot to a boil. Add in your rice and cook while stirring occasionally for about two additional minutes. Then, reduce your heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Simmer the contents until the rice is tender; this should take 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Once your rice is done and tender, you’ll stir your cherry tomatoes, shrimp, and parsley into your rice mixture. Cover the mixture and cook the contents of your pot in the oven until the shrimp are pink and firm, which should take approximately 10 minutes. Once they’re done, remove the pot from the heat, uncover it, and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Spoon your rice mixture into the pre-prepared tomatoes that you placed in the baking dish. You’ll place approximately ½ a cup of shrimp-rice mixture into each tomato. Place your remaining butter into a small microwave-safe bowl and melt the butter on high. Stir in your panko Japanese bread crumbs and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt. Then, sprinkle this atop your rice mixture.
- Continue to bake the stuffed tomatoes until the topping is of a golden coloration, which should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish the tops with your chopped chives, and enjoy!
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