Saturday, March 26, 2011

Autumn Chestnuts Reminds me of London...

Close up of a bowl of chestnuts
Beautiful chestnuts in a bowl

I was at the local Asian market yet again rushing around with Master 3 attempting to get vegetables and meat for dinner that evening, when I spied a bag of chestnuts.
Immediately I remembered my time in London and the novelty of warm chestnuts cooked on what looked like a tin rubbish bin.
My other memory of chestnuts was a friend giving me a tube of French chestnut puree. I can't remember what I did with the beautiful looking tube of puree but knowing I had a bit of French style put a smile on my face. 

I couldn't resist buying the chestnuts, they were only $3.95 per bag and decided I would recreate the nostalgic memory of a winter in London many years ago...

How the looked in the shop - chestnuts $3.95 a bag

My first step was to find out how to roast these babies. It couldn't be easier however the preparation was a bit fiddly. The suggestion is either a cross or slit in the top of the chestnut prior to roasting. I highly suggest the cross so do take the time in preparation - a bit like painting your house really! You will thank yourself for it in the long run! I, however took the shortcut and suffered getting them out of the shells... you live and learn! 

So all you do after the cutting off the skin is put them in a roasting pan or dish, pop them in a medium oven, 180 degrees fan worked for me and roast them for about 15 - 20 minutes. 
I don't remember having them with salt in London but thought something was missing, so after roasting doused them with lots of freshly milled salt.  

Serve in a paper bag and serve them warm!

Now for the disappointing bit, they were quite tricky to get out of the shells and actually the memories came back to me of walking the streets of London spitting bits of shell out. Half a dozen is do-able, any more and you would need to stop in a cosy pub for a beer to wash it down with. 

Chestnut Facts
If you don't slit them they will explode when roasting!
Chestnuts have high water content and are low in calories compared to other nuts and seeds. 
Chestnuts are mostly carbohydrates.   
Chestnuts are called marrons/chataigne in French, castagno in Italian and castanwydd in Welsh.  

Happy roasting and reminiscing

No comments:

Post a Comment