Aaah! The most stressful thing about this upcoming Thanksgiving, other than getting the people, ingredients, help, and timing organized, is trying to whip out these posts (the formatting is going insane, by the way, and I have quit fighting this battle!) in between it all and work! I’m scrambling to get things done and will have a few more fall/winter holiday veggie dishes to come after Monday (trying to post one more tomorrow morning before kitchen prep at my brother’s house), that American readers will be able to check out in time for Thanksgiving, and that everyone everywhere can have fun with for Christmas/New Year’s/any day you want something both funky and veggie.
I usually eat pretty healthy, but absolutely love love love fries, squash, sweet potatoes, and yams (especially in fry form!), so with inspiration from So.Cial at Le Magasin’s lovely potato croquettes with chicken crackling, I decided to go with a croquette of my own, and even try filling it: Butternut squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, and sweet potato were seasoned and combined to encase little cubes of cheese.
When I think of dairy products going anywhere near a deep fryer, Lisa Simpson’s daydream about Homer’s funeral comes to mind (Marge cries, “I wish they’d never invented fried cheese!”). It was important for these to look adorable, taste crunchy on the outside, have mashed ingredients that could be fluffy on the inside, and a cheese that would become creamy, not greasy, so feta was chosen, because it’s firm and also gave a little saltiness to contrast against the sweetness of all the vegetables.
If you can believe it, I managed to hit all 4 food groups with this appy, and made a few for your viewing pleasure before moving on to the next treat. Hold on to your hats!
Cheese-Stuffed Squash Croquettes
(makes as many as you have patience for! This batch could have been about 15 )
2/3 cup Roasted spaghetti squash (see how to roast a squash below)
1/2 cup Roasted butternut squash
1 cup Raw, grated zucchini
2 baked sweet potatoes (medium-sized, de-skinned after baking)
1 brick of feta cheese, cut into 1 cm cubes (the brined kind is super-salty. Use with caution!)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of bread crumbs
A dash each of salt and pepper
A pinch of cumin
Oil for frying (canola, corn and sunflower are good options)
Fun international ideas could include using Indian paneer cheese and throwing other curry spices (like garam masala or coriander seeds) into the vegetables, trying cheese curds broken into little chunks and having gravy as the dipping sauce (round squash poutine, whaaat?!), or using tiny bocconcini balls inside and dipping into puréed sundried tomatoes in oil with finely grated lemon zest. One day I’m going to buy a really loose pair of pants and try making all of these.
Until then, eat well!