Millet and Squash Croquettes

by angelika on March 14, 2011

I was going to make my Stuffed Acorn Squash, and roasted two very large squash, only to do a complete turnaround. I started to feel a bit flulike, and I wanted soup. Instead I made Acorn Squash Soup with Roasted Garlic with one of the squash, and these little treats with the other. These croquettes were pretty much made up as I went along, but oh.my.gosh. They turned out amazing!!! The crunchy exterior gives way to a creamy inside that is both sweet from the squash, a bit spicy from the scallions, and savory from the spice blend. I paired it with a creamy avocado sauce which was also so good it isn’t right. We all devoured them. I wish we’d made more. Maybe tomorrow. 
Millet and Squash Croquettes
1 cup millet
2 cups vegetable broth
1 large or 2 small acorn squash, roasted and flesh scooped out
1/2 cup flour 
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt (use less if you have fine salt)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup loosely packed italian parsley, minced
2 scallions, white and green, chopped
Avocado Cream Sauce
1 avocado
1 tablespoon creme fraîche
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
salt to taste
If you have never tried millet, it is a golden peal like grain that has the same chewiness as rice but a slightly nutty flavor. You can make it into a porridge, or cook it like rice. The only difference if you need to rinse it first. The rule of thumb is that you don’t have to rinse rice but you always rinse other grains. I rinse by placing the cup of millet in a strainer and running water over it. Then toast the millet in a dry pan, stirring constantly, until the grains are dry again. Then pour two cups of broth and let it come to a boil. Reduce to low and cover, letting the grains steam for 20 minutes. Remove the cover, fluff with a fork, and set aside.
To roast the squash cut them in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put a generous splash of olive oil on a sheet pan, then smear the squash in it, cut side down. Roast at 400º for 40-50 minutes, until a knife pierces through easily. For more detailed instructions click here.  
In a large mixing bowl, mix two cups of squash, 1.5 cups of millet and the rest of the ingredients. You will have extra millet, you may have extra squash depending on how fleshy your squash was. 
Using a heaping tablespoon, the kind from your table not the measuring sort, form a ball and then press it slightly to form a cake. You want the sides to be a bit straight. Place the cakes on a sheet tray lined with parchment. Place the sheet tray in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will help them hold their shape when you cook them. 
I made these two ways. The first batched I baked in a 400º oven, turning after 20 minutes, until they were golden brown. The second batch I fried in 2″ of very hot sunflower oil. Frankly, there is no contest. The fried ones were far and away the best. The flavor and texture was light years ahead. The baked ones sort of tasted like food you might get at the vegetarian restaurant in a hippie college town. Good, but not divine. The fried version? I would be happy to be served at a high end restaurant, and would tell all my friends what great vegetarian fare this restaurant had created. So if you fry them, wait until the oil is very hot, then brown each side. About 3 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel. 
To make the sauce, blend all the ingredients together. I used my mini-prep. (which is way more convenient and well used in my kitchen than I’d ever expected) Dollop the avocado sauce on each cake, and then garnish with some parsley and scallion, and a drop of balsamic vinegar… if you’re feeling fancy. Otherwise, just dip the cake in right into the mini prep while standing in the kitchen. 
A votre santé! 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Serial Monogamist December 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I just found your blog searching for a millet and squash recipe (it's what I had on hand) and I made these last night. We loved them! My only issue was that the miture was very dry – I think maybe my squash was dry because I microwaved it to save time without any added oil? Anyway, I just added two egg whites to the mixture, and though it was a tad moist when I patted it out, I just sprinkled some extra breadcrumbs over them before frying.

They turned out crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside, and a little sweet from the squash. Delicious!

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