Quick Recipes and Easy

How to Roast Chestnuts – It’s Easy!

The holidays are quick approaching. Want to visit the nostalgic side of yourself? Try the ancient and well-known recipe of roasting chestnuts. You hear about roasting chestnuts in all the ancient songs and from memories shared with elder members of the family. They are a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering. But how do you do it?

Here’s a simple guide to roasting chestnuts that you can do yourself and have fun at the same time.

Where do you buy chestnuts? Your grocery store will probably have two kinds of them: Castagne, which are the more common type of chestnuts, and Marroni which are the meatier, larger chestnuts. At times, Marroni are as much as an inch or more across in size. Castagne is fine for boiling but for roasting you will need the Marroni chestnut.

Screen the chestnuts by looking over them carefully and choosing just those that are firm and whose skins are a shiny, rich brown color. Obviously, If they smell moldy, or have a blotchy look, or pin holes – toss those out!

First thing to do in learning how to roast chestnuts, make a small cut in the round side of each chestnut. This keeps them from exploding. If you don’t do this, you will have a huge mess to clean up!

A small history: In the country, some people still use a terracotta baking dish (sometimes looks like a colander) to roast the chestnuts over the coals. Today, it’s simple enough to buy a chestnut roasting pan to use over your stove. It looks like an iron skillet or pan with a bunch of holes punched into the bottom of it.

Next, place your carefully chosen chestnuts into the pan and sprinkle them with water. Cover the chestnuts and place the pan over a medium heat.

Then, shake your pan frequently while roasting until you see that the skins have blackened and have pulled back from the chestnut meat (you’ll notice this where you made the cut previously). Roasting them should take about 5 to 10 minutes. If the chestnuts appear too charred, then that means you didn’t shake the pan enough.

You’ll know when they are roasted to perfection by the fact that you can easily open the shell and find gorgeous golden colored chestnut meat inside. It’s sweet to the taste and a small crumbly in texture. Tasty!

Another way to roast your chestnuts is to place them, with the cut sides up, on a baking sheet or cookie sheet. Roast them in a hot oven (about 400 degrees F) until the chestnuts appear tender. This will take about 20 minutes. To test to see if they have been roasted enough, stick a fork through the cut in shell and test for tenderness.

Finally, wrap the hot chestnuts in an ancient towel (no matter which way you chose to roast them) and squeeze them hard. Squeezing the chestnuts will break and crush the skins which will make peeling them much simpler to do. Let the crushed chestnuts rest inside the towel for about 5 mintues before unwrapping them.

Open up the towel and feast and delight in!

Sara Gray is an avid lover of appetizers and has made a fantastic website called simple-appetizer-recipes.com Simple Appetizer Recipes where you can find tasty thoughts for all kinds of hot and cold appetizers, raclette grilling, tapas small plates, snacks, chips and dip thoughts, and appetizer soups.

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