comfort food eggplant friends Italian New Jersey Stromboli vegan mofo
Stromboli For EveryoneSeptember 17, 2014
Stromboli! The thing your mom makes for the superbowl that you can't eat! OR-- If you're from New Jersey, and are familiar with Col...
Stromboli! The thing your mom makes for the superbowl that you can't eat! OR-- If you're from New Jersey, and are familiar with College Avenue, you have surely been to Stuff Yer Face, an accredited beer emporium and junk food eatery serving up 'bolis and beers to abundant undergrad bros. We brought our Swedish friend here on one of his first nights in America, and when he got his boli asked, "How does the sutff get in there?" I explained in detail to my precious new Swedish friend, and we all enjoyed our bolis all the more after understanding the anatomy and craft of the great stromboli. It was also at Stuff Yer Face that I became a beer drinker. I was all wine all the time before I moved. But then I got poor, beer was cheaper, and Stuff Yer Face has a LOT of beer, and good beer at that. And so KZ transformed into her current form, and that's the story of me, my Swedish friend, and Stuff Yer Face.
The desire to make bolis for vegan mofo immediately besieged me upon seeing Veganopoulous's strombolis. Hers look pretty serious, and mine came out a smidge sloppier, but tasty and authentic nonetheless. These might look a little ambitious, but they are totally doable! It's Wednesday, after all. How hard could it be? I have made, shopped, eaten and cleaned this up and am writing this post with at least an hour to spare before bedtime. I'll show you:
It all begins with yeast. Proof you some yeast! To activate, mix sugar and yeast in a bowl and add hot water. You can hover and watch the "fireworks" as I've described to you that I do, or you can just let it do it's thing for 20 minutes while you run to the bodega and get an eggplant. I was out of eggplant.
Then you can just make your dough, and prep the tofu and eggplant while it rises.
Breaded eggplant is a special, special thing. It has been saving cheeseless pizzas from boring staleness at chain restaurants for eons. However-- BF hates eggplant. So I breaded some tofu and used a mix of both. That way he wouldn't notice. An emoji with it's tongue out goes here.
To bread, I used the standard breading procedures from Isa Does It from her crispy tofu. It's somewhere in the book, don't quote me on where. But anyways you just have to dip your tofu/eggplant slices in soy sauce, then into a plate of breadcrumbs. Shake off the excess and drop it into a hot pan with olive oil.
Pan-fry until golden brown on both sides. Add more oil if they aren't getting golden, and just sort of burning. This isn't a low fat dish... I'll explain later.
By the time you are done going to the store, dredging and frying all your tofu and eggplant, an hour might have passed. You can roll out your dough now! This recipe makes 2 big huge bolis, and serves about 4-5. Roll the dough into a long rectangle and add a bunch of your sauce. You can make your own- IF ITS SUNDAY. It's Wednesday, I got off work at 7, and I made a yeasted dough and shopped for groceries. I'm not about to make my own sauce too. Don't judge me.
Place the tofu ad eggplant in an alternating and overlapping stripe down the middle of your dough.
I added some basil leaves on either side. Marvel at my fanciness.
On my boli, I added some Go Veggie vegan mozzarella. I've never tried it and saw it at Whole Foods, so I had been meaning to try out a new meltable option. I left the BF's without, since we all know by now how he feels about vegan cheese...
Roll them up by folding the sides together and pinching all the seams so that no boli filling is left exposed! Slice a few slits in your dough, rub with olive oil, and sprinkle with some coarse salt. These baked for 15-20 minutes at 400ºF. They were perfect!
These are much more massive than the personal-sized bolis at Stuff Yer Face, but hey, making extra is a bonus of home cooking. There's beauty in leftovers.
View of mine with the cheese from the inside. Like I said, a little sloppy, but aint nobody care. Each boli is unique and beautiful in its own special way, or something to that effect.
Here's an inside view of Alex's, with no cheese. It looks a little cleaner. But as I said, he cares not about how well it photographs. He had about 6 slices of his.
These are not a low fat food. I ate only one slice of mine and had a huge salad alongside. One slice was pretty sufficient to bring me back to age 22, eating my first eggplant boli with my first Hop Devil beer, with a bunch of my new friends in my new state. Food is nostalgia. That's how I feel. Also, I have dough stuck in my rings. Goodnight.