All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Sunday, December 18, 2011

roasting chestnuts

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" , that lovely Christmas song goes, though now I tend to roast them in my toaster oven, which is far less romantic.

At one time, I did have a chestnut skillet, which had large holes polka dotted across the bottom of the pan, but it must have gotten lost in one of my moves, so I now use one of those antique pie tins with little holes on the bottom in a 500' oven, or just the toaster oven tray.

If you've never had them, they are a treat ! Slightly sweet and starchy, you eat them fresh out of the shell, while they're still hot. While it's tedious to prepare them, it really is worth it, and it's a lovely Christmas tradition, too.

Here's my foolproof recipe - I had about two cups of chestnuts, but you can adjust the recipe to any amount.

Place the chestnuts in a pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, then drain.

While still warm, take a very, very sharp knife and cut an X at the pointy tip. You can lessen the threat of a cut by holding the chestnut in an oven mitt. Please be very careful.

Preheat oven to 500F. If you're using a toaster oven, no need to preheat.

Place all the cut chestnuts on a baking sheet or pie plate ( for the oven), or simply on the toaster oven tray. Roast at 500F for 15 minutes or until the chestnut shell curls away from the yellow meat of the nut. You still have to peel them, but it's much easier when they've been par-boiled.

May your day be merry and bright!


La Table De Nana said...

We've never boiled ours first~ Will try..we served some Friday night w/ Clementines and small Christmas good..Thank you for this tip.

katrina said...

Do your chestnuts come out ok with no parboiling, Nana? I think it also lessens the chance of a wicked cut on your hand, since the parboiling softens the shells. Clementines and chestnuts - now that's Christmas, right there!

Marianne said...

How inspiring! And once again, how lovely!

katrina said...

Thank you, Marianne! I do love roasted chestnuts - it reminds me of my high school days in NYC, where there were roasted chestnut carts just outside the Met Museum: so delicious!