Did you ever think chestnuts would be your main course for dinner?? Well in certain areas of the world and this time of the year ( fall) it is ... First what is chestnuts !!
Chestnuts mature during the spring and summer and are ready to harvest in the fall. They grow on trees and once mature will fall to the ground on their own. The actual chestnut is protected by a spiky pod called a burr. On the tree the burrs are green while growing and then change to a brown color when ready to fall. Once gathered the time frame for use and preparation for cooking is relatively short. They are not nonperishable like other nuts. It is important that they be refrigerated and used within two weeks or frozen for up to a year. If frozen they must be blanched and peeled first. If they are refrigerated, put them in the crisper drawer with damp paper towels.
If you are using chestnuts from the refrigerator for cooking it helps to let them dry out a couple of days. This will make them sweeter. Cooking time will depend on the recipe you are using and the amount of time it takes to peel them. To peel a chestnut you must boil them for about one minute. Before you boil them, cut a small strip off one side of the chestnut. After they have boiled take them off the heat and once cooled peel off the shells and the inner skin just under the shell.
Having them for dinner roasted is delicious .. Just serve them with a selection of aged cheeses some dried meat cuts ( sausages and cold cuts ) a freshly baked loaf of bread .. And match it to a good fruity white wine .. The result is superb and delicious evening withwonderfull smells and flavors with friends . Very easy to eat
Photography By:Chef Nicholas Anderson for www.culinaryglobetrotter.com