Thursday, December 5, 2013

Chestnuts Roasting On A...

If you're like me, you grew up listening to that song and can finish that lyric.

Yet, while a fond Christmas memory, I have never actually eaten chestnuts, let alone roasted chestnuts.  So, I did some digging and figured out how to do it, sans the open fire.  Bonus, it's quite simple!

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Using a sharp paring knife, press a large "X" into the flat side of the nut, make sure to cut through the shell, so it can split open
  3. Place nuts on a shallow baking pan
  4. Roast for 25-40 minutes, shaking the pan periodically
  5. Remove pan from oven to cool
  6. Once cool enough to handle, peel (cold nuts are hard to peel)
  7. Be sure to remove the outer papery skin
  8. Consume immediately

Helpful Tips:
  1. Don't hold the chestnut in your hand while scoring.  Hold against a cutting board instead.  Ove' Glove?!?!
  2. Cooking times vary depending on the age and size of the chestnut - older and larger will require more time
  3. Shaking the pan ensures even roasting
  4. Peel by squeezing the nut between your thumb & index finger
  5. If you can find frozen, pre-cut chestnuts, go for it!
  6. Fresh chestnuts are firm to the touch and heavy in the hand, with no space between the shell and the meat of the nut inside
  7. Uncut nuts will explode (trust me)
  8. Chestnut season runs from early October through late December

If you really get into this, check out the Chestnutter!

Now for you purest, you can eat chestnuts raw, unless you have the following conditions: severe intestinal problems, kidney problems, liver disease and those who are pregnant (sorry, you'll just have to wait).

Happy Holidays!

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