Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

photo courtesy of Loving Legacy photography


When buying fresh chestnuts for roasting, select chestnuts that are all about the same size with smooth glossy shells. To yield about 2 cups roasted, shelled chestnuts, you should purchase one pound of fresh raw chestnuts.


To keep them fresh, store them in a ventilated plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator or freeze them for later use. To prepare them, rinse the chestnuts. After rinsing, lay them on a towel and pat dry. Use a strong, sharp paring knife to cut an "X" in the flat side of the chestnut shells. This prevents them from bursting, allows the steam to escape and makes peeling easier.


Place the prepared chestnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Roast at 375° for about 20 minutes. After about 10 minutes, turn them for an even roasting. The sliced part of the shells may curl. Remove the chestnuts from the oven and place them in a towel-lined bowl. Wrap the towel over top to cover the chestnuts and keep them tightly covered for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the shells. Remove the shells by hand while still hot, but cool enough to handle. Be careful not to burn your fingers. Starting at the slit, pull the shell away from the nutmeat. The inside skin will peel away from the chestnut along with the outer shell.


Serve plain or dip in melted butter. Sprinkle very lightly with cinnamon, if desired.

Now, has anyone roasted these over an open fire? I want to try it while they are still in season.

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1 comment:

Jessica said...

I've never even thought about doing this for real. I think I'll have to try it.