Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…
Yeah, I don’t really know what that means.
I am pretty sure chestnuts don’t grow in Arizona. They only show up once a year–during the holidays. If I don’t buy them early enough, they will be all weird and spoiled. It is like trying to buy “fresh fish” in Phoenix. Grody.
So, I had to scour the internet for instructions on how to cook chestnuts. Silly, huh?
Some instructions said I should boil them, then roast them. Some said roast, some said cut then roast, blah blah blah. I’ve tried them all with limited success. I am not sure if the end result is weird because I was doing something wrong, or if the nuts themselves are weird due to the “shipped to Arizona curse”. Whatever, I like chestnuts and all, but when push comes to shove, I am inherently lazy. No nut should be this much work.
Still, since there are few nuts I can eat (tree nuts seem to induce an annoying itching inside my ears and throat), I guess the work of getting to the yummy inside of a chestnut is worth it.
Sometimes. Maybe. Once a year.
Here’s what has worked best for me.
Cut a cross in the chestnuts, just deep enough to break the husk.
Place the chestnuts in a microwavable bowl, filled with water.
Microwave on high, for 7 minutes or until the nut’s shell begins to peel back.
Drain the nuts, and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or so.
Peel nuts while still warm.
Does anyone have some suggestions for roasting chestnuts?
Larissa blogs at The Henway.
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Hmm I’ll give this a try. The last time (first time) I made chestnuts, I roasted them in the oven, but I didn’t know I needed to cut an X in them first. Those nuts began exploding. Bang! bang! Bing! There were chestnut crusties on the oven walls for months.
On January 14, 2011 at 1:32 am
I might do that just for funsies! OK, maybe not. My smoke detectors are a bit over-sensitive as it is 😉
On January 14, 2011 at 8:09 am
Larisa, I do this every year as chestnuts go into my Cornbread and Chestnut dressing for the holidays.
Cut the light brown end off or slit the tip like you did. I cut the end off. Place in a frying pan on top of the stove (cast iron if you have it, that is what Grandma used on the wood stove). Cook on med-high for 20 minutes shaking the pan occasionally. Open and eat or store in baggies in the freezer until ready to cook in dishes. They are great like that and I eat lots of them. By now they should be getting groty. My experience is if you don’t dry them right away they get nasty and groty. Lay flat on a towel to dry for about a week.
If you like Cornbread dressing, next time you make it add a 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped chestnuts. I actually like alot more like double the amount of chestnuts. They stay moist in the dressing. BTW they lose some of their flavor in the freezer, so if you use them in dressing or other dishes like Brussel Sprouts add extra.
On January 14, 2011 at 8:40 am
I have no tips to add but I am inspired to beg some nuts from the tree up the road and try your technique.
On January 14, 2011 at 9:23 am
they always eat/serve them in italy during the winter. they are delicious and they use them in so many ways you would be surprised- soups,deserts and more. i have a pan- shaped like a frying pan with holes in the bottom. we cut them with a knife like the pic shows and put them in the pan and roast over hot coals right in the fireplace. they are wonderful. we just peel them and they like to dip them in a little salt. for preserving them they do soak them in tubs of water. i will ask when i go for how long and what else that entails. they are a real treat and abundant over there.
On January 14, 2011 at 9:35 am
i do not know how to post a pic here but just googled chestnut roasting pan and they are only 16.00.
On January 14, 2011 at 9:37 am
Have tasted roasted chestnuts several times and am not fond enough of them to go through all this! But, can see why they would add something special to things like dressing.
Are regular chestnuts related to water chestnuts? Those little hummers that come in a can add a lot to dishes as well.
Nice post! Might even have to try this. Some day. 😉
On January 14, 2011 at 10:29 am
Kathi N says:
I have never had any, but have heard stories about how good they are.
A lady I used to work with used them in her stuffing/dressing recipe each Christmas.
I see we still have them in grocery stores here, so will give them a try! Thank you for the post.
On January 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm
Hello Larissa! We are neighbors. I too live in Arizona. I am glad for this post. I have not tried roasting chestnuts but have wanted to. Was never sure if I was buying good ones or not. This helps along with the other comments.
On January 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm
HI TINA! [waving from Phoenix]
On January 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm
I have never had roasted chestnuts, but dad would get some fresh ones occasionally and we would eat those. Gosh, I had forgotten about them. I love the taste. But one time I peeled one and there was a worm in it and it turned me off big time! (Dad even had me eating an acorn a few times in my life! I miss that man sooo much!)
On January 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm
NO the chestnuts she is talking ao but are not related to Water Chestnuts, nor are they related to the HORSE CHESTNUT. The HORSE CHESTNUT is Poisonous DO NOT EAT THEM. The difference is that the edible chestnuts have a burr on the outside and the horse chestnut has a husk with spines. I repeat the horse chestnut is POISONOUS!
On January 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm
I googled the chestnut roasting pan. There’s also a chestnutter (a garlic press looking thing that will put the X in the nut before roasting).
Great post, Larissa 🙂
On January 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm
oh, I just cross cut mine and put them in a paper bag in the microwave for about a minute! I’m going to try roasting them longer to see the difference, but I like the taste and texture of them the way I do it too. Gotta try toasting them longer!
On January 5, 2012 at 9:55 am