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Roast Chestnuts

Roast ChestnutsWhen I was 19, I took a semester away from my university studies to travel with my parents in Europe. We settled for a semester in a flat on Grove Lane in Leeds, England, while my dad—a math professor at BYU—was on sabbatical at the university there.

It was in England that I came to love fish and chips, cress sandwiches, and roast chestnuts. And, while they really have very little to do with Christmas in American, the holiday season still brings back chestnut cravings.

It was with great joy, while on my daily run at a local park, that I found a chestnut tree absolutely exploding with ripe chestnuts. My kids gathered a bag to take home. Now, safely settling in our new home, I came to look up a recipe to duplicate the delectable street vendor roast chestnuts I loved over two decades ago.

Fortunately, my search led me discover that we actually had a collection of poisonous horse chestnuts instead of edible sweet chestnuts! So, out they go. But I will find some chestnuts at the grocery store and we will have our roast chestnuts yet! Here are three options for cooking sweet, edible chestnuts:

Roast Chestnut Prep

Rinse nuts and, using a very sharp knife cut an X in the flat side of the nut. Cut clean through the skin to allow steam to escape during cooking.

Put nuts in a pan and just cover with water. Boil nuts for 20 minutes. Drain.

Choose one of the following methods to complete cooking of the parboiled nuts:

his can be done on a pan in the oven or over an open fire. Even cooking is assured if the nuts are first boiled about 20 minutes. The boiled drained nuts can go directly into a roasting pan, or you can store them in the refrigerator for later use up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. To roast the parboiled nuts spread them out evenly on a pan and bake about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Fire Roast Chestnuts

Place in fry pan. Cover. Roast over hot coals 20 minutes or until soft.

Oven Roast Chestnuts

Preheat oven to 375°. Spread evenly on a baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until soft.

Microwave Roast Chestnuts

Arrange nuts on a microwave-safe dish. Cook for about two minutes. Check for desired softness and repeat. Time will vary depending on number of chestnuts and microwave wattage.

Stick with the edible version of roast chestnuts and you’ll enjoy a tasty treat!

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Elizabeth October 26, 2010, 11:48 am

    Well – good to know! I can’t resiste picking up chestnuts when I see them but never had the thought to do anything more with them other than put them in a dish on my desk. No roasted chestnuts for me I guess.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Best Places to Trick or Treat in CambridgeMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith October 26, 2010, 12:13 pm

    Keep them in the dish, Elizabeth! Unless you get the right kind. 🙂

  • Steve November 3, 2010, 10:11 am

    I remember when I was young, I used to play conker with those and also collect them. 🙂 Don’t worry Alison, I never do anything else with them haha.

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