Chestnut Recipes

Chestnut Recipies

Chestnuts are a winter crop and are usually associated with cool weather dining. The smell of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, or oven, the aroma of chestnut bread, a bowl of chestnut soup, chestnuts are a delight to the senses.

Chestnuts and chestnut products have been a mainstay in the diet of many communities in asia and southern Europe since historic times. Wikipedia contains an excellent reference in Chestnuts History on the use chestnuts in the diet over the centuries.

See the Chestnut Products page of this site for references to fresh chestnuts, chestnut meal (flour), tinned chestnuts, hints on the storage of chestnuts, chestnut roaster and a link to a recipe for chestnut liqueur.

Chestnuts deteriorate quickly unless eaten soon after tree fall or correctly refrigerated. Squeeze the shell of the chestnut. If the shell gives to pressure it’s past its prime.

Included on this page are a :

Photo: Chestnut

Guide to Cooking Chestnuts
Photo: Roasting chestnutsChestnuts have a high water content and wiil explode when heated unless moisture is able to dissapate. Score the shell (not the nut kernal) about half way around in whatever way is easiest depending on the shape of the nut. The flatter side down gives the chestnut less opportunity to escape. Chestnuts are best cooked quickly at high heat and are more easily peeled when warm to hot..

  • Roasting
    Roasting can be done in a preheated oven at around 200º C – 220º C for 20 minutes. The chestnuts are cooked when the shells open. It’s easier to peel them quickly before they cool. The purchase of a dedicated
    chestnut roaster makes the task of roasting chestnuts quick and easy with a good consistent result.
  • Grill
    Grill the scored chestnuts at around 200ºC for around 10 minutes then turn them over. They are ready when they are partly black and partly brown and the shells are split open.- 15 minutes until the shells split open. Peel while still warm.
  • Boil
    Place scored chestuts in boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 10 to 15 minutes. Making sure not to burn your mouth, squeeze the chestnut shell between your teeth.
  • Microwave
    Cooking chestnuts by microwave is a simple process but it is probably better to experiment a little with a small number of chestnuts until you get the settings and timing right for your appliance. Soak the chestnuts in warm water for 30 minutes. Start by placing scored chestnuts in a single layer and cook on a high setting for 60 seconds. Adjust the timing to achieve your ideal tasting chestnut.

    Make sure when scoring chestnuts that the score actually cuts through the shell, otherwise you’ll “chestnut undercoat” the inside of your appliance.

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Recipe for Chestnut Bread

  • 250g sweet chestnut flour
  • 450g strong bread flour
  • 25g dried yeast
  • 1 tbs castor sugar
  • 60ml lukewarm water (for yeast)
  • 350ml water (for dough)
  • 1 tps salt
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 150g sultanas
  • Add sugar and yeast to 60 ml lukewarm water and mix. Leave for 10 minutes to activate.
  • Mix the flours and salt together and add the butter, yeast and sultanas.
  • If using a bread machine add the sultanas at this stage
  • If making the bread by hand use the following guidelines
  • 1. While working the mixture slowly add the water for the dough until the dough is smooth and pliable
  • 2. Place the dough on a surface that has previously been floured and knead by pressing and stretching with the heel of the hand, fold over and rotate 90º for 5 to 8 minutes (until the dough becomes springy and elastic)
  • 3. Roll the dough into a ball and allow to rise for 60 – 75 minutes on a greased surface. (Until double the original size)
  • 4. Add the sultanas to the dough and mix through and knead to remove any air.
  • 5. Firm the dough into a greased baking tray ( It should take slightly less that 60 minutes to double its size this time)
  • 6. Lightly score the top of the dough and lightly dust with flour
  • Place the baking tray into an oven preheated to 210°C for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Tap the crust to ensure the bread is baked (it should sound hollow), remove from oven and allow to cool before removing and placing on a rack.

 

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Recipe for Chestnut Soup

There are many recipes for chestnut soup, some traditional, some more modern. The following recipe for chestnut soup serves 4 people and is quite popular.

Chestnuts for this recipe can be used raw or roasted. Roasted chestnuts are often preferred as the flavour of the soup is strengthened and the chestnut shells are more easily removed shortly after roasting.

  • 1/2 kg chestnuts
  • 2 kg butternut pumpkin
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 sprigs of parsley
  • 6 tbs butter
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup of light or sour cream
  • salt and pepper (freshly ground)
  • Spices to taste ( nutmeg, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, cayenne pepper
Photo: Chestnut soup

 

  • Remove chestnut shells (see above)
  • Remove the skin and seed of pumpkin and dice into small cubes.
  • Add finely chopped carrot, celery, onion and parsley sprigs to butter melted into a heavy pot or saucepan.
  • Saute for around 6 minutes. Should be soft, not brown.
  • Add 6 cups of chicken stock, quickly bring to boil then reduce to low.
  • Add pumpkin, chestnuts, chicken stock, parsley, salt and pepper, bring to boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes (until chestnuts and squash are tender) – include spices to taste (ground nutmeg, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns etc) Thicken with a little cornflour if required.
  • Puree in blender or food processor with remaining 2 cups of chicken stock. (Can be kept for up to 2 days if covered and refrigerated)
  • Reheat and stir in saucepan or pot.
  • Serve with dollop of light or sour cream (and sprinkling of cayenne powder if desired).

 

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Popular Recipes Including Chestnuts

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