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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Roasted Chestnuts #SundayFunday

This week Renu is hosting the Sunday Funday group and asked us to share recipes that used chestnuts - both fresh and in flour form.


Stacy of Food Lust People Love, Sue of Palatable Pastime, Rebekah of Making Miracles, and Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm coordinate this low-stress group; we only participate when we are inspired. I was very inspired by Renu's prompt. Here's the line-up of chestnut recipes...



I know I had had roasted chestnuts before I lived in Italy. I mean, it's part of one of my favorite Christmas carols: The Christmas Song by Mel Tormé.


...

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Jack Frost nipping at your nose

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir

And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe

Help to make the season bright

Tiny little tots with their eyes all aglow

Will find it hard to sleep tonight

They know that Santa's on his way

He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh

And ev'ry mother's child is gonna spy

To see if reindeer really know how to fly

...


And I have a recollection of peeling and eating them with my grandmother when I was a child. But the memory is hazy and I don't really remember if it was with my mom's mom or my dad's mom. I do know, however, that it wasn't until I lived in Italy that I ate them regularly.


I remember walking by those corner stands during the holidays. That smell of smoky wood, that taste of sweet meaty nuts. I tried to explain it to the boys this weekend and they just laughed. "You ate nuts roasted on the street in large metal pails? Like garbage cans?!!" Well, not exactly. Then I found this photo [below] and they understood a little bit better.


photo from https://italiannotes.com/italian-street-food-roasted-chestnuts/


I like how the sign reads: non toccare! Don't touch. Seriously, who would reach over those burning coals and touch those chestnuts?! I remember almost burning my fingertips when I bought them and carried them away in those paper cones.


So, when I saw a bag of chestnuts at the market I scooped it up. This is hardly a recipe - more of a process - but if you have never roasted chestnuts, you should! Jake says he doesn't remember ever eating chestnuts like this. I'm glad I could introduce him to one of my favorite holiday traditions.


Ingredients

  • chestnuts

  • sharp knife

  • baking sheet


Procedure

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.



Carefully use a knife to slice an 'x' or a cross into the rounded side of the chestnut. Place the chestnut on a baking sheet.



Place the chestnuts in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.



The scored skin should curl open and you'll easily be able to peel the chestnuts. Once they are cool enough to handle, serve immediately!


Whenever I see whole steamed chestnuts in the store, I buy them. It's a treat to have them already cooked and peeled. With those I love to add them to soups and braises. And, next week, as we are solidly December - and the holiday season - we will be sharing Holiday Baked Goods.


I recently shared a Gâteau à la Purée de Châtaignes, a French cake made with chestnut puree. Oh, my. Holiday deliciousness for sure! Stay tuned for next week's #SundayFunday holiday bakes.



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