We are still in tomato season here at Nolan Hereford Ranch. In anticipation of our upcoming Hereford Jr. Nationals we are trying our best to save up some tomatoes to share with our friends on the nights we cook out from our rv sites and then in the barns. Scott saved up some tomatoes from our recent state show and sent to our dear friend Mary Barber up in the panhandle of Texas, because he knows how much Mrs. Mary loves them. We carried a cooler full to our recent Texas State Hereford Show in Belton along with some sea salt and people ate them like apples. With 53 plants, I think we will have plenty to share.
When we are gone to our cattle shows usually the last thing I do before we leave and the first thing I do when we get home is cook a big meal. It's the proscrastinator in me that makes me do it. I know I have tons of things I could be doing, but having a big meal on my table is just something that always makes me feel complete. I know you non-cooks out there can come up with a million things other than cooking to do, but for those of you that cook most nights like I do, there is no better feeling. The only addition I would make to that is a cleanup crew afterwards, because, unlike Racheal Ray who throws all her trash in a large bowl, I am forever a messy cook.
So, the night before our big Belton trip, with tomatoes on trays ready to go to the show and shared with friends I made the Cheesy Baked Tomatoes I share with you today. They are easy and one of my husband Scott's new favorites. In winter, I use the hot house varieties of tomatoes available at our local grocery because part of the appeal of this dish is the accidity of these tomatoes along with the two different types of cheese. Use only tomatoes that are firm, not mushy, or you will end up with a tomatoes that are a bit messy and hard to serve.
As I gear up for Jr. Nationals in Nebraska this year, I am excited to be rv'ing with friends at their state fair grounds. Our plans are to cook most nights and the menu's are going to put at least a few pounds on me. My youngest daughter asked me the other night if this week was a diet week for me and jr. nationals not...I told her she was right on the money with that judgement! Our good friend Jay West and new friends the Venerables (sp?) from the panhandle are handling the bulk of the meat cooking and the rest of us will be handling vegetables sides, pastas, and desserts. My husband Scott is treating everyone to an old fashioned Texas Fish Fry one night and I am making my traditional chicken spaghetti for all the Texas attendees on Wednesday at lunch in the barns. For most of my sweet Texas kids it's not a cowshow without it.
So try these Cheesy Baked Tomatoes at home, camping, or at a cow show if you are vagabonds like us. They are easy and a real treat around our house. I hope you enjoy them. Let me know how they turn out in the comments section of this blog and be creative. Although I use Parmesan and the Mexi blend cheeses from Kraft, almost any cheese would be good with these. I love blue cheeses and think I will have to try it with that next time.
Cheesy Baked Tomatoes
6 - 8 tomatoes, firm in texture
4 ounces Parmesan cheese
4 ounces Mexi - Four Cheese in the package
4 Tablespoons of canola, olive, or grapeseed oil
Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning to taste - or any seasoning you choose
Slice tomatoes in rounds of 1 inch thickness. Pour oil in cooking dish and dredge both sides of tomatoes in oil to coat. Season with Tony Chachere's seasoning. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese in a mound on top of each tomato slice. Sprinkle Mexi Four Cheese in a mound on top of each tomato slice. Bake on middle rack in your convection or regular oven at 350 degrees, uncovered for fifteen minutes or until cheese is melted. I usually cook them the full 15 minutes.
Alise @ The Ranch Kitchen!