From the December 2015 issue

How to Make Butternut Squash Croquettes

Get the details on preparing this festive appetizer from Toasted Oak Grill & Market in Novi.

At Toasted Oak Grill & Market in Novi, everything seems to have a unique spin. Take breakfast. You can order a fresh-baked sticky bun coated with warm bacon (yes, bacon!) caramel sauce. Executive chef Brian Kanak has a zest for fresh, local fixings offered up in new ways.

“We really try to focus on the farm-to-fork philosophy,” says Kanak. He gathers many ingredients from nearby locales, including a farm five miles from the restaurant. The menu changes to match what’s available, although it always has favorites like fresh-made kielbasa.

Kanak carries this home, too. In summer, his 7-year-old son, Louque, visits farms with him. During colder months, and especially holidays, he suggests trying from-scratch tactics – like making pumpkin pie with a whole pumpkin vs. canned.

In time for the holidays, Kanak whipped up this appetizer for Metro Parent readers. These croquettes are made from butternut squash, complete with a yummy dipping sauce.

Ingredients

Croquettes

  • 3 cups diced butternut squash
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Chinese five spice
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp. sage
  • 3 eggs, scrambled (separate bowl)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (separate bowl)
  • 1 cup finely ground graham crackers
  • 3/4 cup finely ground toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 9 oz. mini marshmallows
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
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Crumb

  • 1 cup finely ground graham crackers
  • 3/4 cup finely ground toasted pumpkin seeds

Sauce

  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 9 oz. mini marshmallows
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

Croquettes

Place squash in mixing bowl and toss with five spice, salt and oil. Spread evenly on baking tray and place in a 425 F oven until soft and tender, about 10-15 minutes, stirring half way through to avoid burning. Meanwhile, chop sage and set aside. Once squash is cooked, place in food processor and puree until smooth. Add sage and adjust seasonings if needed. Place in bowl; refrigerate until completely cool. Scoop with half-ounce scooper and place on baking tray.

Crumb

Combine ingredients until fully incorporated.

Sauce

In medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-low until melted. Add flour; stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until mix turns a light golden color, about 6-7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat milk in separate pan until just about to boil. Add hot milk to butter mix 1 cup at a time; whisk continuously until very smooth. Bring to boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Season with salt, nutmeg and gradually add the marshmallows. Whisk until incorporated.

Serve

Roll croquettes in crumb mix. Serve with sauce.

More about Toasted Oak & Grill

  • Address: Twelve Oaks Mall, 27790 Novi Road, Novi
  • Phone: 248-277-6000
  • Hours: breakfast: 6:30-10:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (brunch); lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday; dinner: 5:30-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5:30-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 5:30-9 p.m. Sunday

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