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How To Cook With Chestnuts...

October 14th 2015
By: Melanie

At this time of year our Castanea Chestnut trees are laden with chestnuts, but it can be difficult to know what to do with these nuts. Most people will probably roast them over an open fire or pop them in the oven, and then add butter and salt, which can be delicious but there are so many other ways these nuts can be eaten and used in every day cooking.

Before embarking on any chestnut recipe you will need to de-shell them, which can be quite tricky, so we had a go at this and found the best way to de-shell around 4 at a time is by scoring them, putting them in a bowl of water for a few second and then cook them in the microwave for around 30 seconds on a high heat, this will enable you to peel back their shells easily, ready for any recipe.

Once roasted you can use your chestnuts in lots of different ways; from using them as alternative in baking, to adding them to a stuffing to frying them with your sprouts and bacon to make a great accompaniment to any roast dinner. One of our favourite recipes is Chestnut Bourginion, as you don’t have to buy meat it works out much cheaper than the traditional recipe too. We found this recipe on the BBC Good Food website:

You will need:

125g/4oz dried chestnuts, soaked for 6-8 hours
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 tsp/5ml dried rosemary
210ml/7fl oz vegetarian red wine
300ml/10fl oz vegetable stock or water
25g/1oz butter or soya margarine
8 small pickling onions or shallots, peeled
125g/4oz chestnut mushrooms, wiped
125g/4oz button mushrooms, wiped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2-3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
fresh parsley, finely chopped
225g/8oz vegetarian puff pastry, thawed if frozen

For the method please follow the following link, you will need to allow 6 hours to soak your chestnuts before using in this recipe