"A family favorite when I was growing up. My mother's recipe."
onion, diced fine
green bell pepper, diced fine
salt and pepper
cheddar cheese, grated
bacon, fried crisp, crumbled
6 -8 slices
bread, dried and crushed into crumbs
1 1/2 cups
grated parmesan cheese
( more or less to taste)
( for cooking)
Make bread crumbs in advance either converting bread slices into bread
crumbs by drying in oven or leaving out on counter for a day to dry the bread, or else just simply substitute equivalent amount of store-bought, pre-packaged bread crumbs (roughly, my guess is 1 1/2 to 2 cups depending on your preference for how dry to make the stuffing).
Fry bacon and crumble. Grate cheese.
Dice celery and green pepper.
Set all aside.
Remove top of each tomato. Scoop out tomatoes using something like a melon ball scooper or other sharp edge instrument to remove pulp but in process to keep from
mashing up the tomato.
Chop tomato pulp into small chunks.
Add diced onion, bell pepper, celery, cheese and pre-cooked bacon to tomato pulp pieces, then add bread crumbs and stir them into tomato pulp mixture.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the tomato pulp/stuffing mixture back into tomato shells, mounding slightly over top of scooped out tomato
Place in baking dish of appropriate size, add enough water (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups) to the bottom of baking dish to prevent tomatoes burning while baking.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until
you can smell the tomatoes cooking.
A few minutes prior to serving, remove the aluminum foil from top of baking dish and liberally sprinkle the top of each stuffed tomato with parmesan cheese.
Place tomatoes under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes or until parmesan is golden brown.
Quickly remove from broiler heat and serve or set aside tomatoes on very low heat to keep warm until you can serve them.
(Note: Be careful not to broil too long and burn the top of the stuffed tomatoes).
Serve and enjoy.
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Mama Vi’s Baked, Stuffed Tomatoes (cont.)