Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chestnuts Roasting -- No Open Fire

I feel like I'm the last fairly serious home cook to learn this, but I finally roasted my first batch of fresh chestnuts. Saraga had a huge bin ($3.99 a pound) and I figured it was about time I learned the drill.

Start with a half-pound or so of fresh chestnuts. Using a sharp paring knife, score the outside of each nut with an "X". Put the chestnuts on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until the nuts are soft and the shell has started to peel back.

Peel while they're warm (it's easier.) Store the nut meats in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Now, what to do with all these chestnuts. (They're good to eat on their own, but they beg to go in soup, stuffing, or mmm, something with butternut squash.)


Circle City Sweets said...

Chestnuts are also a great pastry item. They are not used too often in the US, but they are wonderful with chocolate desserts.

Kirsten said...

While I can't argue with stuffing (we once made a vegetable roulade with a creamy-chestnut stuffing as the vegetarian main for Thanksgiving - awesome!), chestnut gelato makes me positively joyous.

The only downfall of oven roasting is that there isn't as much smell as I imagine open-fire roasting would provide.

Rebecca said...

Vegetarian Times features chestnuts in their '1 Food, 5 Ways' section in the Nov/Dec '08 issue. The recipes are for stuffing, chestnut and marsala mushroom soup, oven roasted brussels sprouts with chestnuts, apple-chestnut crepes, and pear and chestnut crumbcakes. The soup looks especially tempting!

braingirl said...

I found a batch of shitakes on the fridge and made risotto with the mushrooms and white wine. The perfect sweetness of the chestnuts was delicious!

RJ said...

Lightly salted with a good brew? I might just be making excuses to drink more beer though.