Updated: Tuesday, 16th September 2014 @ 6:02pm

MM's Cheap Eats: Stuffed vegetables part one – Tomatoes with chorizo pilaf

MM's Cheap Eats: Stuffed vegetables part one – Tomatoes with chorizo pilaf

By Melanie Hughes

MM's favourite foodie is back with another of her low-budget dishes. This week, stuffed vegetables!

Stuffed Vegetables Part I

Tomatoes with chorizo pilaf

What you will need – (serves 2)

Rice - 1 Cup

Chorizo – 75g

Chicken Stock – 1 Pint

1 Onion

1 Clove of Garlic

6 decent-sized Tomatoes

Chopped Parlsey – Handful

Dried chillies

Salt and pepper to taste

This is a great recipe for making something which looks impressive but with little effort or expense!

The most important ingredient in this is the chorizo but you only need a little to give the whole dish loads of flavour so you can use as much or as little as you depending on your tastes.

Start with chopping onions and crushing the garlic, set aside for a moment and chop the chorizo into small pieces. Start by frying the chorizo on a medium heat – you don’t have to use oil as the natural oils from the chorizo will soon come out once it starts to cook.

Cut the tops off the tomatoes and hollow out the insides with a spoon but don’t bin it; you can add to the the rice later.

Once the chorizo is starting to colour just slightly and the plan is filled with the lovely paprika oil throw in the onions then the garlic a few minutes afterwards.

While the onion is softening make up some chicken stock and then add the rice to the pan. Don’t put the stock in yet. The rice will be tastier if allowed to soak up some of the oil this is a good time to season with some black pepper and maybe a splash of white wine, if available.

It’s probably best to hold back on the salt until the end as the stock will be quite salty so season with pepper and some dried chillies, if that’s your style, then add salt, if needed, at the end.

When everything has started to take on the colour of the chorizo oil, add the stock and the inside of the tomatoes that you hollowed out earlier.

Cover and simmer for around 15 minutes (25 or more if you’re using wholegrain rice).

Preheat the oven to 180 for baking the tomatoes later.

Using stock instead of water to boil rice is a great way to make plain boiled rice into something a bit more exciting.

While the rice is boiling away, roughly chop a handful of fresh parsley for adding at the end.

Unlike with boiling rice for curries etc. you can, and probably should, give the rice a stir now and then – it’ll make it a bit creamier and enhance the texture.

It’s ready when the rice is soft; you can choose to boil the water down completely but I sometimes add slightly more so it’s not too dry. Add the parsley and stir through then season again if needed.

Now simply season the tomato shells with some salt and pepper then spoon the mixture back inside. I usually put the tops back on the tomato to save the rice from drying out whilst cooking.

Cook for around 10-15 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften.

Serve with some salad, crusty bread or as an accompaniment to a meat dish.

Part II - Stuffed Peppers - next week!