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chestnuts!!

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default chestnuts!!

Post by pod on 10th November 2009, 11:56 am

Hi All-whilst out walking my mutts in the woods behind our house have managed to gather quite a few chestnuts from the ground ( and have the injuries to prove it ) now im not really sure what to do with them? theyre quite puny as the squirrels would have gobbled the larger ones-but now i have a potential regular supply need some suggestions-the only thing i can think of is some kind of stuffing ingredient...............? Rolling Eyes
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Post by Adrian on 10th November 2009, 12:01 pm

I used to love roasted sweet chestnuts. When I lived in Leeds, ever winter there would be street vendor who set up her stall under my office window - she did very good trade from my office all winter long..

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 10th November 2009, 2:00 pm

I have a heap of recipes that I can pass on if you're interested Pod.
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Post by pod on 10th November 2009, 2:10 pm

oohh yes please, although im not a culinary whizz........ i`ll give anything a go
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Post by chickenofthewoods on 10th November 2009, 2:17 pm

Okey doke! I'm supposed to be doing errands right now (ssshhh. Don't tell anyone where I am!) but I nip back and post some for you later ok? Wink
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default Small size

Post by Mike on 10th November 2009, 2:24 pm

pod wrote:Hi All-whilst out walking my mutts in the woods behind our house have managed to gather quite a few chestnuts from the ground ( and have the injuries to prove it ) now im not really sure what to do with them? theyre quite puny as the squirrels would have gobbled the larger ones-but now i have a potential regular supply need some suggestions-the only thing i can think of is some kind of stuffing ingredient...............? Rolling Eyes

If the chestnuts are simply smaller size than you expected (but fertilized buts, not aborted embryos) then perhaps it's another species of chestnut than European chestnut. American chestnut has smaller nuts as does Chinese chestnut. Smaller but sweeter. Commerically there are cultivars available that produce large nuts like the European species with this coming about by spontaneously aborting two of the three embryos so you end up with one large nut instead of three small ones.

But as far as the squirrels go, small size doesn't deter them. Even a smallish chestnut is fair eating for a squirrel. Why do some of the other species have smaller nuts? They aren't sure but believe it is so that jays can have a hand in planting them as well as squirrels. Jays are likely to be burrying their winter food supply far from the tree, out in the open where squirrels fear to tread. But it's hard for them to keep hold of a really large chestnut as they fly.

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Post by Lottie on 10th November 2009, 2:36 pm

We put ours in foil and bung 'em on the fire thingy outside! Gives the kids a chance to practice their future career choices of being pyromaniacs too... Rolling Eyes

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Post by pod on 10th November 2009, 4:19 pm

fascinating chestnut info-yes they come in three to a pod but have got some larger ones too-cant really locate 2 trees so would suggest the larger ones were either less common ( ie a freak) or animals had nicked em. Definitely not the size of commercial ones, not very many wild ones around so am pleased to have come across this one, Usually loads of horse-chestnuts aka conkers everywhere.plenty of grey squirrels in the woods too as we have a hazel our back but never get any nuts as they get em first and if we put anythingout for the birds the little rascals are all over it.
I can probably do the chestnut in foil thingy-but will wait to see what chickenofthewoods comes back with
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Post by chickenofthewoods on 10th November 2009, 9:48 pm

Right. Brace yourself co's this is going to be a long post. Over the years I've collected loads of recipes off the web that are foraging/wild food related and this lot for chestnuts are principally Italian. Can't say I've tried them all, and they aren't all credited properly so if anyone sees a recipe that's theirs & uncredited please let me know so that I can add the right attribution with my humble apologies.

Anyway. Have a browse, see if there's anything that appeals and let us know how you got on if you tried it. Enjoy!

Brandied chestnut and mushroom terrine
Recipe by: Brenda Houghton
Yield: 10 servings
Ready in: 1 hour 15 mins (20 mins Prep - 55 mins Cook)
This luxurious dish can also be served as a meatless main course.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for greasing
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
175 g (6 oz) mushrooms, sliced
175 g (6 oz) red onions, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons brandy
8 vacuum packed or canned unsweetened, whole chestnuts
1 egg, beaten
125 g (4½ oz) wholemeal breadcrumbs
400 g (14 oz) canned unsweetened chestnut purée
Grated zest of ½ orange plus juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon each chopped fresh parsley and thyme
Salt and black pepper
To garnish: chopped fresh coriander or basil
To serve: mixed salad leaves
Preparation method
Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Lightly grease a 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and gently fry the garlic, mushrooms and onions for 7-8 minutes until they are tender and lightly browned, stirring frequently.
Add the brandy to the pan and allow it to simmer for 1-2 minutes until reduced, then remove the pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool for about 3 minutes.
Break the chestnuts into pieces and stir them into the mushroom mixture with the egg, breadcrumbs, chestnut purée, orange zest and juice, parsley, thyme and salt and pepper to taste, using a wooden spoon to break up the chestnut purée.
When the mixture is thoroughly combined, spoon it into the loaf tin, smooth over the top and bake it for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned.
Leave the terrine to cool in the tin, then turn it out onto a plate and cut it into neat slices. Sprinkle a little chopped coriander or basil over the top and serve it with mixed salad leaves.


Copyright by The Readers Digest Association, Inc. 1998

Brandied Chestnut Soup
Servings: 6 Servings


Ingredients
2 tb Butter or margarine
1/2 c Finely chopped onion
1 lg Clove garlic, minced
3 1/2 c Chicken broth
1 1/2 lb Unshelled chestnuts
3 tb Brandy
1/2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Brown sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper(opt)
1 cup cream
Milk

PreparationIn a large saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and garlic; saute until soft. Add chicken broth, prepared chestnuts (see note below) or puree, brandy, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Puree mixture, in batches, in blender or food processor. Return to pan; stir in cream. Heat until hot, but do not boil. Thin to desired consistency with a little milk. To prepare chestnuts, slash each nut with a sharp knife. Place nuts in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil; simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut each chestnut in half and scoop out the center. Discard the skin and shell. Serves 6 Typed in MMFormat by cjhartlin@email.msn.com Source: Good Friends Cookbook Posted to MM-Recipes Digest by cjhartlin@email.msn.com on Aug 17, 1999


To make chestnut soup for six you'll need:

1 1/8 pounds (500 g) cleaned collard greens
3 carrots
3 onions
1 1/3 pounds (600 g) peeled chestnuts
5 peeled potatoes
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Slices of bread, either toasted or fried in unsalted butter
Set the chestnuts to soak the night before. The next day, boil them together with the potatoes, carrots, collard greens, and onions (add the potatoes and carrots with the chestnuts, then the onions, and finally the collard greens, which will cook more quickly the first chestnuts and vegetables should be fork tender). Drain the vegetables and put them through a blender or food mill to obtain a smooth cream. Check seasoning and serve the cream over slices of toasted bread, sprinkling all with a little olive oil.

To make chickpea soup for six, you'll need:

1 1/8 pounds (500 g) chickpeas
5 ounces (125 g) bread crumbs, sautéed until golden in olive oil
A bay leaf
A clove of garlic
Olive oil
Salt
A pinch of sodium bicarbonate (optional)
Soak the chickpeas overnight in lightly salted water, adding a pinch of sodium bicarbonate if you want -- it hastens the cooking of the chickpeas, but leaves an aftertaste many find offputting.

Drain the beans and put them in a pot with fresh water to cover by a palmspan, a little salt, the bay leaf, the clove of garlic, and a little olive oil. Cover and simmer for at least two hours, or until the chickpeas are soft.

A few minutes before serving the soup, stir in the bread crumbs and heat them through. Serve, with, if you want, a pepper grinder.

Were I to undertake chestnut and chickpea soup, I'd cook chickpeas per the second recipe, and add them whole to the first.



Chestnut Soup Recipe for days of Abstinence and Days with Meat (Minestra di Castagne in Magro ed in Grasso)
This chestnut soup recipe is drawn from a volume entitled Il Cuoco Piemontese, which was published in 1766. Though it was one of the first books written in Italian to present French recipes, given the importance of chestnuts in the Italian diet, especially among the poor, this recipe is likely Piemontese. The days of abstinence referred to in the title are the days that the Catholic Church forbade the consumption of meat, in other words Fridays, Vigils, and Lent. The recipe:
Prep Time: :
Cook Time: :
Ingredients:
3 onions
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
A carrot
A stick of celery
3 leeks
1-2 clove garlic
2 cloves
100 chestnuts, peeled (you could use dried chestnuts, soaked overnight)
Preparation:
To make chestnut soup for a day of abstinence, slice three onions and put them in a pot with a walnut-sized piece of unsalted butter. Mince a carrot, a stick of celery, the white parts of three leeks, and a half a clove of garlic, and add them to the pot too, together with two cloves. Sauté the mixture until the onion is slightly browned, then add water to cover by a few inches and continue cooking everything for an hour. Strain the liquid and salt it lightly.

Take about a hundred chestnuts, peel away the outer skins, and then heat them over a brisk flame in a skillet with holes punched through it (a popcorn popper will also work) until you can rub off the inner skins of the chestnuts. After cleaning them, simmer them until soft in some of the broth. Select the prettiest ones to keep whole, and blend the others. You will obtain a pale cream; dilute it with the broth the chestnuts cooked input the others through a strainer. Dilute the mixture further with the remaining vegetable broth to obtain a soup of the consistency you prefer, add the whole chestnuts, and serve.

You can, if you prefer, dilute your chestnut paste in meat broth, at which point the soup is no longer for days of abstinence.

Yield: 8-12 servings chestnut soup.Chestnuts with Whipped Cream Recipe - Castagne con la Panna
Chestnuts with Whipped Cream may not be quite as rich as marron glassé, but are definitely headed in that direction. The recipe is Piemontese, and will serve 6.
Prep Time: 25:
Cook Time: 1:10
Ingredients:
1 1/8 pounds (500 g) dried chestnuts
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 pint (500 ml) cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preparation:
Combine the chestnuts and the sugar in a pot, add cold water to cover, and cover, and bring everything to a simmChestnut Soup Recipe for days of Abstinence and Days with Meater. Cook the chestnuts for at least an hour; by this time there should be very little liquid left. Stir in the honey and let the sauce thicken.

In the meantime, beat the cream and the powdered sugar until the whipped cream is soft and fluffy. Divvy the chestnuts into bowls, spoon their drippings over them, surmount each with a dollop of whipped cream, and serve.

Yield: 6 servings Chestnuts with Whipped Cream.


Pieno di Natale - Tuscan Chestnut Christmas Dessert
Pieno di Natale is a traditional, rustic chestnut-based Christmas dessert that Emiliana Lucchesi was given by a Benedictine nun in the Lunigiana, a wild section of northern Tuscany. Quite a far cry from the Marrons Glacées enjoyed by the wealthy!
Prep Time: 6:
Cook Time: 2:
Ingredients:
2 1/4 pounds (1 k) chestnuts
2 1/4 pounds (1 k) tasty apples (in Italy we'd use renette, which are mottled, and quite flavorful)
2 pounds Tuscan bread, dipped in milk and squeezed dry (you'll need real Tuscan bread that won't become a paste, from an
Italian bakery)
3/4 pound (250 g) dried figs
1/2 pound (200 g) pitted prunes
1/2 pound (200 g) walnut meats
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/4 pound (100 g) shelled hazelnuts
1/4 pound (100 g) raisins
1/2 cup unsalted butter
A generous pinch of anise seeds
The zest of a lemon and an orange.
Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt to taste.
Preparation:
Peel the chestnuts, soak them for several hours, and then simmer them in the water they've soaked in until tender. Meanwhile, cook the apples, figs and prunes separately in small amounts of water, simmering them until they begin to fall apart. Mince the nutmeats and put them in a large bowl, then carefully mix in the remaining ingredients. Transfer the paste to a baking tin (it should be about an inch high) and cook it in a slow oven, taking care that it not brown, until the water is evaporated and it reaches the consistency of a firm polenta.


Rice and Dried Chestnut soup is a classic peasant dish from the Valle D'Aosta, which combines a little luxury -- the rice -- with chestnuts, which were a mainstay in the diet of the rural poor throughout the mountainous regions of Italy. The recipe will serve 4.
Prep Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
1/2 pound (200 g) dried, shelled chestnuts
1 cup (200 g) short-grained rice, along the lines of Arborio
2 quarts (2 liters) milk
A walnut-sized chunk of unsalted butter
Salt
Preparation:
Soak the chestnuts in water overnight, then rub away any bits of the inner skins that have remained, and boil them until they begin to soften in lightly salted water.

Heat the milk, and add the partially boiled chestnuts. Continue simmering until they are almost ready (you'll want them fork tender), then stir in the rice, and cook, stirring, until it is done too. Season with the butter, crumbled into bits.

A note: In the past this would have been a one-course dinner. The authors note that some people also add a little sugar and cinnamon to the milk.

Yield: 4 servings Rice and Dried Chestnut Soup.


Castagne Confettate (marrons glacees)
Though chestnuts were once used primarily to keep the peasants alive, good chestnuts are very good and the aristocracy was quite happy to enjoy them, provided they were elegantly prepared. Marrons glacées are quite elegant, and were doubtless very popular at court. The recipe Mr. Vialardi presents looks involved at first glance, but actually involves brief steps over several days after the initial preparation, so it is fairly easy. And a jar of marrons glacées makes a fine gift!
Prep Time: :
Cook Time: :
Ingredients:
Large perfectly blemish free chestnuts
Sugar
A kitchen scale
Preparation:
Take nice, large chestnuts and peel them, then boil them until tender in water that barely simmers. Drain them well and remove the inner peel. Weigh them, and put them in a bowl. Measure out as much sugar as the chestnuts weigh and heat it with the same weight of water until it comes to a boil.

Pour the resulting syrup over the chestnuts and let them rest for 24 hours.

The next day, drain the syrup back into a pot, bring it to a boil, reduce it some, and then pour it back over the chestnuts. Repeat the process five more times. The last day bring the syrup to a rolling boil, add the chestnuts, and cook them for 20 minutes, then transfer everything to a clean sterile jar, cover it, and let it cool.

Store the jar in a cool dark place.

Brandied Chestnuts (marrone al liquore)
Prep Time: :45
Cook Time: :45
Ingredients:
4 1/2 pounds (2 k) marroni
18 ounces (500 g) sugar
1 quart (1 liter) water
1/2 quart (500 ml) rum, cognac or brandy
2 bay leaves
4 cloves
Preparation:
Carefully peel off the outer skins of the chestnuts, without nicking the inner skins, and set them in a large pot of cold water, with the bay leaf and the cloves. When you are finished peeling bring the pot to a slow boil and cook the chestnuts 25 minutes. Carefully remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon and set them on a plate to cool. When they have almost completely cooled use a thin bladed knife to remove the inner skins, being careful because the chestnuts will be crumbly.

Combine the sugar and the water in a broad pot, bring it to a boil, and skim the froth that rises to the surface. After 8 minutes add the chestnuts to the syrup and let them simmer without stirring them for 5 more minutes, over a very low flame.
Let everything cool and then carefully remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon, layering them in an elegant, wide-mouthed jar. Return the pot to the fire and bring the syrup back to a boil. Skim off the froth several times, add the liquor, stir, and let it cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled gently pour it over the chestnuts. If there's not enough liquid to cover them add more alcohol to cover, without stirring. Seal the jar with a lid, and set it in a cool dark place for 2 weeks or more.




Salsicce Con Le Castagne - Chestnuts and Sausage
Rice and Dried Chestnut Soup - Riso e Castagne
Let everything cool and then carefully remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon, layering them in an elegant, wide-mouthed jar. Return the pot to the fire and bring the syrup back to a boil. Skim off the froth several times, add the liquor, stir, and let it cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled gently pour it over the chestnuts. If there's not enough liquid to cover them add more alcohol to cover, without stirring. Seal the jar with a lid, and set it in a cool dark place for 2 weeks or more.

Chestnut marmelade (Confettura di Castagne)
Prep Time: :30
Cook Time: :50
Ingredients:
1 k (2 1/4 pounds) fresh chestnuts (see link to chestnut information if need be)
1 2/3 pound (700 g, or about 3 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
A vanilla bean
Preparation:
Begin by setting a pot of water to boil. Next, make a slice across the rounded side of each chestnut, and when you are done drop them all in the boiling water. Cook them for a few minutes, and then remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon. When they're cool enough to touch, peel them and remove the inner skin by rubbing them on a rough cloth. Simmer the peeled chestnuts in boiling water to cover for another 15 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid, and put them though a food mill, using the coarse disk, or blend them -- you want a fairly chunky puree.

Add the sugar to the water the chestnuts cooked in, bring it to a gentle boil, and add the chestnut puree and the vanilla bean. Simmer the mixture over a medium flame for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, heat your oven to 240 F (120 C) and heat the jars and their lids for 10 minutes.

When the time is up, remove the vanilla bean, cut it into pieces, and divide them amongst the jars. Fill the hot jars, screw the lids on, upend them, and let them cool.


Chestnut, leek and mushroom tartletsServes 4
Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour

Cooking time 1 to 2 hours

By The Vegetarian Society

Description
Makes either four individual tartlets with 10cm/4in loose-bottomed flan rings or one larger one using a 20-22cm/8-9in flan ring.

Ingredients
225g/8oz ready-made puff pastry (thawed if frozen)
55g/2oz wild rice
2 tbsp olive oilChestnuts and sausages are a classic, and very satisfying winter combination. Since peeling chestnuts is a rather laborious task, you may want to purchase peeled chestnuts, rather than boil and peel them yourself. To serve 4:
Prep Time: :20
Cook Time: :40
Ingredients:
2/3 pound (300 g) sausages
1 pound (450 g) chestnuts (ideally marroni, which are large), boiled and peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 rib celery, chopped
A carrot, chopped
An onion, chopped
A leek, chopped
2/5 cup (100 ml) meat broth or unsalted bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation:
Begin by making a cut in each chestnut and boiling them, if you are starting from scratch, in lightly salted water until the nutmeats are soft, at least a half hour. After boiling them remove the shells and peel way the skins covering the nutmeats.

Melt the butter in a saucepot and add the chopped vegetables. Cook, stirring, until the onion becomes translucent, and then add the peeled chestnuts and the broth. Simmer over a gentle flame.

In the meantime, prick the sausages with a fork and simmer them in boiling water for 10 minutes to remove some of the fat they contain.

Cut the sausages into half-inch (1 cm) rounds and add them to the chestnut mixture. Check seasoning, simmer for another 10 minutes and serve at once. A wine? An unoaked Barbera D'Asti would be nice.

Yield: 4 servings sausages with chestnuts

15g/½oz vegan margarine
370g/13oz leeks, finely chopped
110g/4oz oyster mushrooms, sliced
200g/7oz packed cooked and peeled chestnuts, chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only, chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp shoyu or Henderson's relish

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board. Use to line either four individual 10cm/4in loose bottomed flan rings or one 20cm/8in large one. Do not trim the excess pastry yet. Prick the base all over and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bake blind for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is cooked, then trim off the excess.
3. Cook the rice in boiling water until the grains split (about 30-40 minutes). Drain and allow to cool.
4. Heat the olive oil and margarine in a frying pan and gently fry the leeks for about five minutes until soft.
5. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further five minutes, then stir in the chestnuts, rosemary, sage and cooked wild rice and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Add the shoyu or Henderson's relish and cook for a further two minutes.
7. Spoon the filling into the pastry case(s) and return to the oven to bake for 5-10 minutes, until warmed through


Cobnut, wild mushroom and chestnut stir fryServes 3-4
Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

By James Martin
From Saturday Kitchen

Ingredients
25g/1oz butter
1 onion, finely sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
150g/5oz mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
50g/2oz shelled fresh cobnuts
150g/5oz chestnuts, roasted, peeled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve
1 roast chicken

Method
1. Place a frying pan over a high heat. Add the butter and, when melted and foaming, add the onions. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until softened, then add the thyme and wild mushrooms. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes, until tender.
2. Add the cobnuts and chestnuts and fry for 1-2 minutes until heated through, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Serve a spoonful with a plateful of roast chicken.

Chestnut, ricotta and honey 'money bags'Makes 2
Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time less than 10 mins

By Gino D'Acampo
From Ready Steady Cook

Ingredients
100g/3½oz ricotta
100g/3½oz vacuum-packed chestnuts, chopped
3 tbsp honey
4 sheets ready-made filo pastry
55ml/2fl oz melted butter
cocoa powder, to dust
sprig fresh mint, to garnish

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. In a bowl mix together the ricotta, chestnuts and honey.
3. Brush a filo sheet with melted butter, and add another layer of filo over the top. Brush with butter again.
4. Place half of the chestnut mixture into the middle of the filo, then draw the corners up to surround the mixture and scrunch the top to form a 'money bag' shape. Repeat the process with the remaining filo and chestnut mixture.
5. Place onto a baking tray and place into the oven to bake for five minutes, or until golden.
6. Serve on a plate with a dusting of cocoa powder and sprig of mint.



Chestnut, spinach and mushroom torteServes 6-8
Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour

Cooking time 1 to 2 hours

By Celia Brooks Brown

Ingredients
500g/18oz spinach leaves, well washed, with tough stalks removed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
400g/14oz mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 garlic cloves, chopped
400g/14oz cooked, peeled chestnuts, chopped
2 heaped tablespoons thick-cut marmalade
5 sheets filo pastry, about 28cm x 48cm (11in x 19in)
about 50g/1¾oz butter, melted
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the tomato and ginger coulis
75ml/2½fl oz olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
5cm/2in fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
800g canned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
150ml/5¼fl oz Madeira wine or dry sherry
sea salt and cayenne pepper

You will also need
24cm/9½in springform cake tin, brushed with melted butter

Method
1. To make the coulis, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and Madeira or sherry and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. For an extra-smooth consistency, strain the purée through a sieve. Set aside.
2. Put the trimmed spinach in a large saucepan, cover and heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted. Drain and let cool. Wring out in a clean tea towel, then chop.
3. Heat the olive oil in the pan, add the onions, mushrooms, coriander, and cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook until softened and the juices have evaporated. Add the garlic, fry briefly, then add the chestnuts. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the spinach and marmalade and heat through. Season to taste.
4. Working with one sheet of filo at a time (keep the rest covered with a damp cloth to stop them drying out), line the prepared tin. Press a sheet gently into the sides of the tin and let the edges overhang. Brush with melted butter and slightly overlap with another sheet.
5. Continue to layer and butter the sheets as before, until the tin is completely covered. Spoon in the chestnut mixture and smooth flat. Fold the overhanging filo in towards the centre and ruffle the top so the filo stands in peaks. Brush with butter.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 30 minutes, then unmould carefully and slide onto a baking sheet. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, until golden and crisp all over. Let stand for a few minutes. Reheat the coulis. Using a serrated knife, cut the torte into wedges and serve with the coulis poured over.



Winter nettle and chestnut risottoServes 4
Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

By Gerard Baker
From Veg Talk

Ingredients
2 pints nettles (measured when picked), loosely packed
8 tbsp unsalted butter
approx. 1 litre vegetable or light chicken stock
2 shallots, finely diced
fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, bay)
200g/7¼oz arborio rice
250ml/8¾fl oz dry white wine
230g/8oz peeled chestnuts, chopped in half
lemon juice
2oz fresh parmesan, finely grated, to serve

Method
1. Wash the nettles in a large bowl, allowing any debris to drop to the bottom. Pick out any thick or tough stems. Do not be concerned that the washing water is peaty brown, this is normal.
2. To cook the nettles, heat one tablespoon of butter in a large pan over a high heat and drop in the leaves. Allow them to wilt and cook until they are tender.
3. Strain through a sieve, catching any liquid in a bowl. Squeeze the nettles and remove to a board, chopping them roughly. Set aside in a cool place while you make the risotto.
4. Heat the stock in a pan. Melt half the remaining butter in a large heavy pan, adding the shallots and stirring to soften them. Add two bay leaves and a teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme. Cook the shallots until they are tender and clear, then add the rice, stirring to allow all of the rice to be coated with some of the fat.
5. Add the wine and stir. While the wine is being absorbed, turn the heat to a medium simmer. Add ladlefuls of stock - two at first, and allow each addition to be absorbed. When two thirds of the stock is absorbed, add the chopped nettles and allow them to continue cooking in the rice. At this stage, add the chestnuts - they will break down slightly in the pan.
6. When most of the stock is absorbed, check the rice - it ought to be just cooked, the sauce still emulsified. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the remaining butter and the parmesan, and serve with a sprinkle of lemon juice and a little freshly chopped parsley.

Chestnut and red wine pateServes 4
Preparation time 1-2 hours

Cooking time less than 10 mins

By The Vegetarian Society

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive or groundnut oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
pinch dried thyme
150ml/¼pt red wine
150ml/¼pt vegetable stock
100g/4oz chopped chestnuts (cooked weight)
100g/4oz chestnut purée
75g/3oz wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 tbsp brandy
10-15ml/2-3 tsp soy sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
fresh herbs, crackers and a fresh green salad

Method
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, gently cook the onion and garlic with the dried thyme until soft.
2. Add the red wine and vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chestnuts, chestnut purée, breadcrumbs, brandy and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Cook over a gentle heat until thickened. Spoon the pate into individual ramekins, smooth the surface and then chill in the refrigerator until required.
5. Serve garnished with fresh herbs, with crackers and crisp green salad leaves.



Porcini, brandy and chestnut cream sauce By: Alex Mackay

300ml chicken stock
25g dried Porcini
1 tbsp vegetable oil
16 vacuum-packed Chestnuts
4 tbsp Brandy
200ml double cream
1-2 tbsp flat leaf Parsley, sliced
salt and black pepper


Method
1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan and boil hard until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the heat.

2. Place the dried porcini in a medium-sized heatproof bowl, cover with the reduced chicken stock and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

3. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the porcini dry and set their soaking liquor aside.

4. Heat the oil in a shallow saucepan and fry the rehydrated porcini and chestnuts together for 1 minute.

5. Add the brandy and stand back as it will flame! Bring to a boil and simmer until the pan is almost dry. Add the soaking liquor from the porcini, bring to a boil and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.

6. Add the double cream, bring to the boil and boil for 30 seconds or until the sauce is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the sliced parsley and season to taste.


Ingredients for Roasted Chestnuts and Brandy

250g chestnuts
200g serrano ham sliced thinly
Large glass Spanish brandy

How to make Roasted Chestnuts and Brandy

Prepare the chestnuts for roasting by cutting an 'x' in each chestnut with a sharp knife (this will allow the steam to escape so they don't explode!)
Roast in a high oven, 'x' side up for around 20 minutes ( the shells will have opened and they will be golden brown inside)
Remove from the tray and allow to cool down slightly before peeling - they only need to be cooled down enough to touch and should still be warm which makes them easier to peel.
Once peeled, serve in front of a roaring fire on a cold winters evening, dipping your chestnuts in the brandy for a few seconds before savouring with a slice of serrano ham.
Heavenly earthy tones, guaranteed to warm you from the inside out!



CHESTNUT PRESERVES

Cover blanched chestnuts with boiling water, and simmer slowly until tender; it will take from one and one-half to two hours. Weigh the nuts before cooking, and make syrup of sugar and water same in weight as nuts. Cook syrup until thick. Add nuts and cook for one and one-half hours. Strain out nuts and reduce syrup. Place chestnuts in glass jars. Flavor syrup with vanilla, reduce until very thick, and pour over the nuts. This makes a very rich preserve, and is used in pudding sauces, pudding, etc.

Chestnuts in Spirits, or Marroni al Liquore:
If you want something more elaborate than simple Marrons Glacés, you can make Marroni al Liquore, Chestnuts in spirits. Again, you'll need marroni and not simple castagne. The recipe makes a lot, so this could be a good Epiphany gift.
INGREDIENTS:

* 4 1/2 pounds (2 k) marroni
* 18 ounces (500 g) sugar
* 1 quart (1 liter) water
* 1/2 quart (500 ml) rum, cognac or brandy
* 2 bay leaves
* 4 cloves

PREPARATION:
Carefully peel off the outer skins of the chestnuts, without nicking the inner skins, and set them in a large pot of cold water, with the bay leaf and the cloves. When you are finished peeling bring the pot to a slow boil and cook the chestnuts 25 minutes. Carefully remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon and set them on a plate to cool. When they have almost completely cooled use a thin bladed knife to remove the inner skins, being careful because the chestnuts will be crumbly.

Combine the sugar and the water in a broad pot, bring it to a boil, and skim the froth that rises to the surface. After 8 minutes add the chestnuts to the syrup and let them simmer without stirring them for 5 more minutes, over a very low flame.

Let everything cool and then carefully remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon, layering them in an elegant, wide-mouthed jar. Return the pot to the fire and bring the syrup back to a boil. Skim off the froth several times, add the liquor, stir, and let it cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled gently pour it over the chestnuts. If there's not enough liquid to cover them add more alcohol to cover, without stirring. Seal the jar with a lid, and set it in a cool dark place for 2 weeks or more.


Squash and Roasted Chestnut Soup

1/4 cup whole fresh chestnuts
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small head green cabbage, chopped
2 pounds each butternut, acorn and hubbard squash
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons allspice
1 cup carrot juice
1 cup half and half

Adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F. With a small paring knife, cut an x in the center of each chestnut. Rub the
chestnuts lightly with vegetable oil. Place the oiled chestnuts on flat sheet pan and bake in the preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until they pop.
Let the chestnuts sit until cool enough to handle. Peel them and chop them into medium pieces. Reserve. Coat a large heavy stockpot set over
medium heat with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion, celery, carrot and cabbage. Let the vegetables cook
for approximately 5 minutes until they soften. Season with sea salt. Add enough water to cover the vegetables by one inch. Bring the mixture to a
low boil. Reduce the heat and let the stock simmer for 35 minutes. Strain and discard vegetables. Peel and chop the squash in 1/2 inch pieces.
In a heavy stockpot over low heat, melt the butter. Add the diced squash. Let cook until the squash is soft. Add the allspice and enough vegetable
stock to cover the squash by one inch. Simmer for 10 minutes. Let the soup cool briefly. Puree in a blender. Add the carrot juice and half and half.
Season with salt and pepper. Reheat gently. Garnish with the reserved chopped chestnuts and chopped sage. Serve immediately.

Squash & chestnut soup
Vegetable Oil

2 whole Squash (2 1/2 pounds) cut horizontally in half seeded

8 cups Chicken/veg Broth

7 1/2 ounces Chestnuts roasted

2 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup

Soup:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush baking sheet with oil. Place squash halves, cut side down, on prepared sheet. Bake squash until very tender, about
1 hour. Scoop squash from skins. Measure 6 cups squash and transfer to large pot (reserve any remaining squash for another use). Add broth and
chestnuts to pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer soup uncovered until chestnuts are very tender, about 30 minutes.
Mix maple syrup into soup. Puree soup in batches in blender until very smooth; return to same pot. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1
day ahead. Refrigerate until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.)

Rewarm soup. Ladle into bowls & serve.

Lentil-Chestnut Soup

About 1 cup of dry lentils, or if you want to measure about 200 grams
About 2 cups of peeled, cooked chestnuts, or cut up sweet potato, or Japanese kabocha squash
1 medium onion
1 celery stalk or about 1/3 of a large peeled celery root
Butter or oil
Bay leaf
Dried or fresh thyme
Vegetable stock cube (I just use Knorr Gemüsebouillon)
molasses or honey
Finely chop the onion and celery. (I just whiz in the food processor.) Sauté in butter or oil until it's all limp and just turning towards caramel color.

Add about 6-8 cups of water, 2 stock cubes, a bay leaf and about 1 tsp (a good pinch) of thyme. Bring to a boil and add the lentils. Lower heat and simmer
for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Overcooking a bit is fine, even desirable.

Add the chestnuts or potatoes or squash and cook for about 15-20 minutes more until tender.

Carefully fish out the bay leaf. Whiz the whole thing with your stick blender until reasonably smooth. Taste to see how much salt and pepper you need
to add. At the last minute add about a tablespoon of dark molasses or honey. This just enhances the sweetness underlying everything.

Serve with a good crusty bread.

CHESTNUT SOUP

This seasonal soup makes a marvelous first course. For an added festive touch, serve the soup in hollowed out small "Boo" Pumpkins.

8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 cups whole roasted chestnuts (or about 1-1/2 lbs)
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 parsnip, peeled and sliced
1 cup celery
7-1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
1/2 cup Madeira wine
2 fresh parsley sprigs
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sour cream
Cayenne pepper


In a heavy saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add chestnuts and saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Melt remaining 4 Tablespoons butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add carrot, parsnip and celery root and saute until soft, about 7 minutes.
Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Add the chestnuts, Madeira wine, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Continue to simmer another
15 minutes. Puree soup in batches in a food processor or blender. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead; cover and refrigerate). Transfer pureed soup to a large
saucepan, and reheat, stirring frequently.

When heated through, ladle into bowls, Topping with dollop of sour cream; sprinkle with cayenne. Serve.

Serves 6.

Butternut squash, apple & chestnut soup

1 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 1/3 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2/3 (32 ounce) jar butternut squash, puree
1 2/3-2 cups chicken stock
2/3 large bay leaf
1 1/3 teaspoons salt, plus more, to taste
1/3 cup heavy cream
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped until just thickened (optional)
8 fresh chestnuts, roasted, peeled and roughly chopped

ROASTING CHESTNUTS
Using a small, sharp knife or a chestnut knife, score, or shallowly cut, an X on one side of each nut. Be careful not to cut through the nutmeat.
To roast the chestnuts in the oven: Lay the nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet, and roast in a 350°F oven until the nuts are fragrant and the scored portions begin to separate from the shells, 15 to 20 minutes. (If you're going to eat the chestnuts plain, increase the heat to 400°F and bake until the shells give slightly when pressed with oven mitt-protected fingers.)
To roast the chestnuts in a chestnut pan: Heat the pan over medium-low heat and add the chestnuts. Cook, tossing the chestnuts frequently, until the shells crack and the chestnuts are cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes over a gas flame burner, 35 to 40 minutes over an electric or conduction burner.
Transfer the nuts to a platter or heatproof surface and cover with a damp kitchen towel to keep them warm.
5. Using a kitchen towel or pot holder, pick up each nut and, with your fingers or the knife, peel back the scored X. Peel off the hard outer shell and the thin, beige, soft inner skin. Discard any nuts that, once peeled, look dried out.
Eat the chestnuts immediately or use as directed in a recipe.

SOUP.
In a small stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the butternut squash puree, 2 1/2 cups of the stock, the bay leaf and the 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean stockpot. Stir in the cream and add more stock to reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat the soup gently to serving temperature.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish each serving with a swirl of whipped cream and sprinkle with chestnuts. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Spiced Chestnuts
1/2 cup egg whites
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon ginger, ground
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chestnuts, peeled
Whip egg whites until four times their volume; add all spices and mix until well mixed; toss nuts in egg white mixture until well coated; let drain in a colander for 10 minutes; line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake at 375 degree F for 10–15 minutes or until the nuts become golden.

Chestnut Marmelade
Prep Time: :30
Cook Time: :50
Ingredients:
1 k (2 1/4 pounds) fresh chestnuts (see link to chestnut information if need be)
1 2/3 pound (700 g, or about 3 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
A vanilla bean
Preparation:
Begin by setting a pot of water to boil. Next, make a slice across the rounded side of each chestnut, and when you are done drop them all in the boiling water.
Cook them for a few minutes, and then remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon.
When they're cool enough to touch, peel them and remove the inner skin by rubbing them on a rough cloth.
Simmer the peeled chestnuts in boiling water to cover for another 15 minutes.
Remove them with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid, and put them though a food mill, using the coarse disk, or blend them -- you want a fairly chunky puree.

Add the sugar to the water the chestnuts cooked in, bring it to a gentle boil, and add the chestnut puree and the vanilla bean.
Simmer the mixture over a medium flame for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, heat your oven to 240 F (120 C) and heat the jars and their lids for 10 minutes.

When the time is up, remove the vanilla bean, cut it into pieces, and divide them amongst the jars.
Fill the hot jars, screw the lids on, upend them, and let them cool.
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chickenofthewoods

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default Re: chestnuts!!

Post by chickenofthewoods on 10th November 2009, 9:50 pm

P.S. I thoroughly recommend the Marrone al liquore, which I have made. It's delicious.
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chickenofthewoods

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default Re: chestnuts!!

Post by pod on 10th November 2009, 10:19 pm

wow thank you very much indeed! i better get cracking. V. Impressed!!I ll let you know how i get on x
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