About 5pm, while faced with another round of eggplant parmesan, we came up with this idea. We're certainly not the first to do so, as a quick search of google will tell you, but the other versions don't sound like this one, or aren't vegan, so forward we go...
(makes about 10 pieces)
1 globe eggplant
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbs. cornstarch
1 1/2 tbs. water
1 cup of breadcrumbs
2 tbs. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. fennel seeds, ground
1 tsp. oregano, finely minced
Trim the top and bottom off of the eggplant and square off all side pieces to make a rectangular loaf-sized piece at least 6 long.
Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the eggplant into about 1/8" thick slices. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the eggplant slices and place in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse off the salt and pat the eggplant slices dry.
Add the flour, salt, pepper and smoked paprika in a shallow dish or pie plate and coat the eggplant on both sides.
In a separate dish or pan, place only one side of the eggplant in the cornstarch slurry.
In a third dish or pan, place only the wet cornstarch side of the eggplant in the breadcrumbs and press firmly to coat completely.
Place a cannoli tube at the bottom of a piece of eggplant and tightly roll the eggplant slice upwards. When you reach the end, press firmly on both sides of the tube to seal the edge.
Place two toothpicks in the eggplant to help keep the cannoli sealed while it is in the deep-fryer.
Deep-fry the cannoli (the metal tubes and the eggplant) in 385F canola/peanut oil for 2-3 minutes until the cannoli get golden brown. Remove, drain and let cool for a few minutes before trying to pull out the tube.
Immediately stuff the cannoli with the ricotta filling (a pastry bag would work here).
8oz. firm tofu
1/2 cup soy sour cream
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Add all of the ingredients to a blender or use a small container and an immersion blender and puree until creamy. A variation would be to add cooked spinach and nutmeg to the filling.
Top the cannoli with your favorite tomato sauce and serve hot.
- Using a mandoline not only makes them look uniform in size and shape, but it also allows you to cut them more thinly and accurately than with a knife -- which is important when it comes time to wrap them around the cannoli tube.
- Carefully twist the toothpicks when pulling them out. They may adhere to the breadcrumb coasting after being deep-fried and will pull a big chunk of coating off if you just yank it through. ;)
- Have the ricotta in the pastry bag (large tip) ready to go as soon as you pull the tubes out -- you want that combination of crispy eggplant and creamy ricotta.