The Chestnut Primer is 38 pages of all sorts of chestnut information. Chestnut lore, nutrition, quotes from Shakespeare and of course, great chestnut recipes, like the ones below. A thoughtful gift for the chestnut lover in your life.
Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts Serves 8 or more! see Chef Paige's full blog on this recipe at http://acookinglifeblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/brussels-sprouts-with-chestnutsa.html
1 cup heavy cream 1 1/4 cups water, divided
1 c. peeled chestnuts, cut into quarters, uniform small chunks or coarsely crumbled 2 T. unsalted butter1 t. kosher salt, or to taste 1 to 2 t. minced fresh thyme
2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise (8 cups)
Freshly ground black pepper
the cream, 1/4 cup of the water and the chestnuts in a small saucepan.
Bring to a bare simmer and gently cook over very low heat while
preparing the Brussels sprouts. The goal is to soften the chestnuts
slightly while infusing the cream with their flavor. There should only
be a few bubbles visible on the surface of the cream. If cooked at a
rapid simmer or boil, the cream will reduce too much and the final dish
will be oily rather than creamy
butter, salt and remaining 1 cup water to a boil over high heat in a
deep 12-inch heavy skillet (the water should fill the pan to a depth of
about 1/4 inch). Add the Brussels sprouts and thyme and simmer,
partially covered and stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts
are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the lid and boil over
moderately high to high heat until water is evaporated and the sprouts
sizzling in the butter and beginning to caramelize, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the cream along with the chestnuts. The
cream will boil and reduce rapidly upon coming in contact with the hot
pan, so stir constantly with a heat proof spatula, encouraging the
thickening cream to coat the sprouts and chestnuts. If the cream is
still too liquid, return the pan to moderate heat and simmer until the
cream lightly coats the sprouts and chestnuts. Taste and correct the
seasoning with salt & pepper.
Sauteed Brussel Sprouts & Chestnuts Serves 5
1 tsp olive oil 2 Tbs minced shallots 1 clove garlic, minced 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, quartered 1/3 cup dry white wine 1/3 cup water 3/4 cup roasted, peeled halved chestnuts Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, saute 2 minutes. Add sprouts, saute 3 minutes. 2. Add wine and water; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes. 3. Uncover, cook over medium heat 1 minute or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Chestnuts are gluten free and very low in fat. The cream or milk added to these soups enhances the flavor and makes them taste quite rich. You can decide if the cream or milk works best for you. The soups can be prepared in advance up to the point where you add the cream or milk.
Classic Chestnut Soup with Marsala Mushrooms
Gluten free--serves 8 I have used this soup in many demonstrations and everyone loves it!
1. To make soup: melt better in large pot over medium heat. Add vegetables and spices, cook 5-7 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add chestnuts, broth, 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium--low, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes or until chestnuts are very soft. Remove bay leaf. 2. Puree soup in batches in blender until smooth. Return to pot and stir in marsala wine and cream. 3. To make mushrooms: heat 1 tbs butter & 1 clove minced garlic in skillet. Add 8 oz sliced mushrooms (cremini or button) and cook until mushrooms are soft. Add 2-3 Tbs marsala wine and cook 1 minute more. 4. Season soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish servings with mushrooms and fresh thyme leaves.
MUSHROOM SOUPserves 4-6 (Adapted from Martha
Stewart Living magazine)
I love serving this elegant soup to guests. For a velvety smooth texture, pass soup through a fine strainer after the mixture has been processed and
before adding the cream.
2 1/2cups fresh chestnuts
6ounces cremini mushrooms
2ounces shitake mushrooms, stems removed
2Tbs. unsalted butter
1Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
course salt and freshly ground pepper
1small onion, chopped
1clove garlic, halved
8sprigs fresh thyme, plus leaves for garnish
6cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
1/2cup heavy cream
chestnuts in 350˚ oven until tender, about 20 minutes (see roasting
chestnuts).Peel; set aside.
chop all but 2 cremini and 2 shitake mushrooms.Heat 1 Tbs. butter with the olive oil in a small stockpot over
medium-high heat.Add chopped mushrooms
and season with salt and pepper.Cook
the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown, about 5
minutes.Add onion, garlic, and thyme
sprigs.Reduce heat to medium-low and
cook until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.Add all but 4 chestnuts and cook until
golden, about 5 minutes.
and water, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil.Reduce heat, and simmer until chestnuts are falling-apart tender, about 1 hour.Remove and discard thyme springs, and let stand about 10 minutes.
Let soup cool
slightly.Pass soup through sieve and
transfer solids, reserving liquid, to a food processor or blender.Puree, in batches, until very smooth.Add the reserved liquid and process for 1
seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.Transfer to the stockpot, stir in the cream, and place over low heat
Cut the 4 reserved chestnuts and the 4
reserved mushrooms into 1/4-inch-thick slices.Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over
medium-high heat.Add the chestnuts and
mushrooms, and cook until crisp and golden brown, 3-4 minutes.Divide the soup among soup bowls, and garnish
with sauteed chestnuts, mushrooms, and thyme leaves
1. Clean squash and cook in salted water.Remove skins and set aside. 2. Melt the oil in a deep, heavy pan.Add the onion, carrot
and celery, then season with salt and pepper.Cook for 3 minutes. 3. Add the peeled chestnuts, cover with the stock and simmer gently until the vegetables and chestnuts are quite soft.If the stock reduces, add more stock or water. 4. Put the chestnut mixture and boiled, skinned acorn squash through a blender to make a puree.Return to the pan 5. Gently reheat and stir in the milk and parsley.Heat until very hot but donot allow it to boil.
Serve with toasted
slices of French bread.
Wolfgang Puck's Braised Chestnuts--Serves 6 Braised chestnuts go well along side meat and poultry dishes. I've found that this recipe is a good way to introduce chestnuts to less adventurous eaters. It is also a great vegetarian entree with rice.
4 cups chestnuts, peeled and kept whole 1/2 finely chopped onion (sweet onion is best) 1 Cup port wine--use a good port 3 Cups chicken or vegetable stock (I prefer veggie because the chicken tends to overwhelm the taste of the chestnuts) 2 Tbs olive oil 2 Tbs butter
1. Heat heavy saucepan.
2. Add the oil, butter and chopped onions. When onions turn slightly brown, deglaze with port wine. Add thyme, chestnuts, stock and a little salt and pepper.
3. Cover and cook until chestnuts are tender and the chestnuts have absorbed most of the liquid. This will take an hour or so. Serve as whole-braised chestnuts or pass through a ricer to make a wonderful chestnut puree.