Thursday, November 20, 2008

Roasted Chestnuts

I love roasted chestnuts. (Hubby hates 'em, yay, more for me.) A few days ago I read about roasted chestnuts sauteed in butter on Gastronomy Domine. Sauteed in butter, people. And then I found these beautiful Italian chestnuts at Trader Joe's. I think it was a sign.

OK, so everyone knows you have to cut the shell a little before roasting, otherwise you'll have exploding chestnuts, right? And everyone knows that you should never use a dull knife for anything, right? But you know what I didn't think of? You should probably use a towel or something underneath your chestnuts when cutting them, to keep them from shooting across your kitchen, leaving the knife to slice through the place where the chestnut used to be. Wanna know how I know this?

Good thing my knife is sharp, otherwise it would really hurt.

Here are my cuties after roasting.

I've always read that you should peel chestnuts as soon as you can handle them, because the papery stuff under the shell will come off easier that way. If that's true, then I believe it may be physically impossible to peel a cold chestnut, because even hot, it was a pain in the ass. Be careful when peeling, because you'll get little bits of the papery stuff jammed under your fingernails, and your hands will hurt for 2 days.

After peeling, sauté in butter. Sprinkle with salt.

Worth the sliced finger? Worth getting paper bits under my fingernails?

You betcha.


Bob said...

I've actually never had roasted chestnuts. I think this recipe is the one to get me to finally do it, though. Sauteed in butter. Yep, that's what it takes. Heh.

Vicki said...

Hi Bob -
I wonder what they'd taste like fried in duck fat?
For butter, I recommend unsalted, then salt with something flaky.

Kitt said...

Nom! I love roasted chestnuts. They sell them on the street in China in winter, stirred up in a big pot of hot rocks (keeps them from exploding).

You're brave and patient to roast them at home.

Betts said...

I've never done this (only sung about it), and never knew how. It sounds so pleasant in the song, but rather masochistic in reality. Can I just taste yours?

kat said...

I've only ever had these once & it was from a street vender at a Christmas parade, I remember they were so yummy

Vicki said...

Hi Everyone - It's really not that hard to do at home, just make sure your knife is sharp and you can keep 'em from slipping. 20min @350 and you're in business.

Christina said...

We make roasted chestnuts at least once a year for either Thanksgiving or Christmas stuffing. Eating them plain is the best, though!

Vicki said...

Hi Christina -
I'm the only one in my house that'll eat 'em, I can't even sneak them into stuffing w/o complaints :(

carondg said...

I'm not a huge advocate of single use kitchen tools, but you might want to invest a few bucks in a chestnut knife. Williams Sonoma carries them for about $14. The blade is shaped like a little beak so you can puncture the shell and then make your cut. In the nut, not your finger!

Vicki said...

Hi Caron - Didn't find the knife, but I did find this unitasker - Chesnutter

I could see using the beaky knife for other things, like peeling an orange...?

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I've never worked with chestnuts before. Thanks for the primer.

I see chestnuts, knock them and they're so hard. That's why I've been scared to pick some up: don't really know what to do with them. :)

Vicki said...

Hey JS - They're intimidating and a pain, but worth it :)