"Somerset Cook Makes Summer Produce The Star"
Tomatoes Stuffed With Corn and Crab Meat
Faglon of the Somerset section of Franklin Township shares his recipe
for New Jersey crab stuffed tomatoes.
He lives in a high-rise, but has converted his patio into an herb and veggie garden.
Tom Faglon is retired from Telcordia Technologies, but that just means this Brooklyn-born foodie has more time to cook. Faglon, 69, and his wife, Diane, of Somerset are the creators of www.faglon.com , an online 1,000-recipe collection to which they’re still adding.
But before they cook, they grow. “I have a patio full of herbs, veggies and flowers. It’s gorgeous right now,” said Faglon, who lives in an apartment. “I have tomatoes up the ying yang out there. I even have hanging tomato plants. For an 8 foot by 4 foot patio, it’s got a lot of stuff on it.”
The couple cooks for more than themselves. In fact, they’re known for throwing extravagant seasonal food parties for their friends.
Faglon’s fascination with food started in childhood when his father introduced him to a cast iron pan and demonstrated how to prepare bacon and eggs. At dinnertime, his mother taught him how to make a variety of Irish and German dishes. “Her friends were all Italian and we used to go to their places on Sundays for dinner,” Faglon recalled. “That’s where we learned how to do all the good stuff.”
He worked with food in the Navy. After marrying Diane, the couple took recreational classes at The Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan in everything from how to sharpen knives, to how to make bread, and work with chocolate.
Today, Faglon works Wednesdays and Sundays selling ravioli and sauces for a local company at farmers markets in New Jersey. When he saw Table’s call for reader recipes using Jersey fresh tomatoes and corn in season, he got to thinking. One day, as he scanned the bounty at a farmers’ market, the following recipe came to him.
These stuffed tomatoes are in keeping with the Faglon philosophy of cooking: Keep it simple.
TOMATOES STUFFED WITH CORN AND CRAB
New Jersey beefsteak tomatoes
4 New Jersey ears of corn
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
8 ounces lump crab meat, picked over so that shells and cartilage are removed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut a half-inch off the top of each tomato. Scrape out the insides. Place tomatoes on serving platter. Boil corn, remove from the water and let them cool. Stand up the ears — if necessary, cut one end to make a flat surface — and use a knife to cut down the sides to remove numerous rows of kernels at the same time. Combine all ingredients, except tomatoes, in bowl. Mix well. Stuff tomatoes with mixture. Wrap platter in plastic wrap and chill 20 minutes before serving. Serves four.
Written by: Lorraine Ash
Photography by: KATHY JOHNSON
Updated July 16, 2016