Thursday, December 1, 2011

Recipe - roasted chestnuts

Are you feeling in the Christmas spirit?  Me, too!  Click here to set the mood for this post.  Ooh, you'll be glad you did.  Dear ole' Frank.

Roasted chestnuts are a real treat!  We enjoy making them around the holidays.  Frankly, preparing them is a lot of work, but for something only done rarely, it's worth it. 

There are lots of recipes that show how to doll these up.  Just look online, if that is how you would like to eat them.  This recipe is a simple how-to.  Then doll away if you wish.

Note before you begin:  It is REALLY frustrating to buy chestnuts, go to the work of preparing them, bake them, and then find out as you peel them that they are moldy.  When you are choosing your chestnuts, look for ones that feel heavy for their size.  It is worth spending a little more per pound to get them from a place where you are confident they are fresh than to pinch pennies and end up with a lot of waste.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

I have read that the next part is easier if you soak the chestnuts in water for a few minutes first.  I have no idea if this works but I'm going to try it next time.

Using a sharp knife, cut an X into each shell.  This prevents the chestnuts from exploding in your oven.  Place the chestnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

After taking the chestnuts out of the oven, cover them with a wet towel.  Let them steam for a few minutes.  Remove the towel and start peeling! 

Eat up and enjoy!  We made these before watching a movie as a family, and the kids really liked them.

P.S.  If you have leftovers, peel them as soon as possible and freeze them.  If they get too cool, they are a pain in the patooty to remove from the shell.

P.P.S.  As an example of how to doll these up, I chopped some finely and put them in a skillet with a pat of butter, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.  Then I sprinkled a spoonful of sugar into the mix.  Once it was hot, we sprinkled the topping over ice cream.  Delicious!!

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