This past week, I was out shopping and I came across some cannoli tubes. Cannoli is a type of Italian pastry that is really very wonderful and filled with assorted sweet fillings. The singular word, cannolo, means “Little tube” which is what they look like upon completion.
I stood there, looking at the tubes, and found myself thinking “What would happen if I wrapped these with bacon, then filled them with something savory or even fresh ingredients after cooking?”
I bought the tubes.
All the way home, I dreamed about what I would do with them.
Is that normal?
See, most bacon wrapped things come to you after being baked all together, like poppers or water chestnuts or green bean bundles, but with these, you can go with fresh ingredients! This is going to rock your world. I promise.
After two days of test cooking, I felt pretty confident about the finished product and dropped a pic of it in the inbox of a friend, not to mention all the test bites that ended up in the mouth of Mr. Incredible. She went googly and insisted that I needed to blog the recipe so others could make these for the Superbowl. So, here it is.
First you need some cannoli tubes, You can get these Here if you don’t have any already
The tubes are there on the bottom. I put them on a rack on my foil lined sheet pan. Sorry the pic is in black and white, I didn’t realize till it was too late.
Wrap the bacon. Do this kind of loosely BUT make sure you overlap the edges while you wrap, You’re not trying to make curlicues, you want a relatively unbroken finished tube. This is not going to be a perfect process unless you buy the really pricey, beautifully sliced bacon. I buy the cheap stuff and sometimes the edges take a bit of work to line them up well.
Along with that step, you also want to place them with the ends of the bacon against the rack to keep them from unrolling as they cook.
It shrinks, which means it will tighten up on the tubes. You don’t want it to stick.
So…Wrap loosely, overlap the edges, and place them with the ends on the rack.
You see the one on the top? See the tip portion? Sometimes, that’s gonna happen. And it will come loose on the end when you bake it. Don’t sweat it, just cut that little, dangly piece off and pop it in your very deserving mouth, consider it a job perk. I’m not a big advocate of perfection.
My first batch, I put into a cold 425 F oven. By the time it has preheated, they will be almost finished, depending on the thickness of your bacon. The second and third batches, take a look at them after about ten minutes to see if they’re brown and crispy yet.
When they’re finished, take them out and let them cool for a couple of minutes so you don’t burn your hands removing them. Then, take the top of the tube in your primary hand and hold it, grasp the entire baconnoli firmly in your other hand, and gently twist left and right till you have it loosened and can slip it off. Don’t sweat it if a little bit falls off here or there.
Since I only have four tubes and wanted to make 12 baconnoli, I did this process 3 times for these pics. If you buy 12 tubes, you can do more at a time, of course, but this was a test run, so I didn’t want to buy a bunch of tubes.
When you’re done, you will have a plate of empty tubes. Then, I took them and cut them into bite size rounds with my kitchen shears and set up an assortment of things to stuff them with.
Some, I stuffed with just a veggie mix. I find that if you take a small piece of lettuce and put your other veggies inside, it stuffs very easily.
These are the full size tubes, filled with a mix of jalapeno and cream cheese. I found that they were just too much, and bite sized was much better. I used a piping tube to fill them. I piped them on the bite sized, too. Huge improvement.
In the end of it, the plate above is what I’ll make when I make these. Some BLT bites, where I stuff them with lettuce and slivers of tomato, some with turkey and guacamole (MY personal favorite!) and some with a slice of jalapeno in them and a shot of cream cheese and chive. I used the piping tube to do the guacamole and the cream cheese mix.
The piping bag really makes it a lot easier. I’ve been getting by with a sandwich bag with a tip snipped off for years, but I’ll not do that again. I love using the actual bags much more. I bought a small set that came with everything I’ll need for a while. You can get one here. They’re not expensive.
So, there you have it. When you’re trying to figure out some tailgating and game day foods that are low carb friendly, give these a shot! The only thing you’ll regret is that you didn’t make them sooner.