Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chestnuts - Yes, But Not Roasting on an Open Fire

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to spot a couple of chestnut trees growing on an abandoned property on my way into work. I was not quite sure how to prepare them other than roasting them on an open fire, but since Jack Frost has not yet started to nip at the noses of those in the Southeast, an open fire was nowhere to be found. After some experimentation, it seems that the easiest way to prepare a chestnut is to simply cut an "X" in the outer hull and boil for about 15 minutes. After sampling them both raw and cooked and realizing that their taste was rather bland, I correctly surmised that chestnuts can be successfully combined into more complex dishes where they will add their own subtle flavor and texture. This is evidenced in the pictured Sambuca shrimp and shallots with chestnuts in a cayenne and chive cream sauce. The wife, however, stated (incorrectly, I might add) that the dish was wonderful, EXCEPT for the chestnuts...

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