Page 1 of 1

Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:46 pm
by Annemieke
The chestnut tree down the road is prolific this year. In the past I have kept them for a while and then soaked them (because by then they had dried out) before cooking them with Brussels' around christmas. But can I also cook and eat chestnuts straight away, or do I have to keep them a bit, like I do with hazelnuts for instance?
And what else - simple! - can I do with them please?

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:06 pm
by Flo
I remember as a kid on the farm, we roasted chestnuts in the ashes of the coal fire. Didn't skin them or anything, just put a cross cut with a penknife across the top in the hopes that it would stop them exploding. Mostly it did. Me Dad was the expert in this but he's not with us now.

Other than that - https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/cracking-chestnuts is the best I can manage as advice.

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:21 pm
by Annemieke
Got no coalfire ..... :-(

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:40 am
by Flo
Nor me which explains why I don't pick fresh chestnuts now. Only use them in recipes which require them (things like stuffing) and I buy them in a packet. Cheat aren't I?

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:59 am
by Green Aura
You can do them in the oven, or in a pan on the hob - just remember to cut that cross to stop them exploding, as Flo said.

Or you can boil, skin them and then cook again in syrup - marrons glace; chop them into stuffing; make nut loaf, or anywhere you'd use other nuts really. Normally they'd be too expensive but seeing as they're free, go for it! :lol:

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:34 am
by Annemieke
Thanks!

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:45 am
by Odsox
That's one of the things I miss living here.
When we lived in Kent we had several massive chestnut trees in our garden, several hundred years old, plus there were chestnut trees everywhere as they were grown specifically for producing poles for the hop growing.
I lost 2 fine chestnut trees in the hurricane of 1987, but several survived. Every year we binged on chestnuts for a couple of months, roasted and boiled, boiled ones were easier to eat as you can just squeeze out the centre straight into your mouth and not have to peel them (and burn your fingers) with roasted ones.
We used to store them by burying them in a biscuit tin in the garden (long before fridges) that way they keep perfectly fresh until spring, a lesson learnt from the squirrels.
Now I'm reduced to buying Spanish ones in the local shop. :(

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:12 am
by Annemieke
Good idea, that biscuit tin! I don't like storing everything in fridges and freezers when there are good old-fashioned alternatives.

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:04 pm
by ina
I suppose charcoal would do for the "authentic" burnt taste? I remember the lady who sold them in the streets of London a long time ago... To be more exact, just outside Foyle's in 1977/78. I sometimes bought a paper bag of them for my lunch, and I am sure they used charcoal.

Like Flo, I buy a packet of them for special occasions. these days. Definitely cheating, but probably much cheaper.

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:14 pm
by Annemieke
These days, these days - I'm glad I can still pick them up from the road in my old age! I'm privileged to live in the countryside. I think I bought the tins when I was young ....

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:22 pm
by Annemieke
We've got so many now I am doing a trial: some I bury in a tin in the garden and some others in a plastic jar. Some more I will just put in the ground like the squirrels do. The rest go in the wire net in the corridor, as always. I will let you know the outcome by spring!

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:35 pm
by Green Aura
I hope you remember to eat some of them. :lol:

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:57 pm
by Annemieke
I put some markers on their graves!

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:26 pm
by ina
Bought my annual ration of chestnuts - cooked, sealed - today... That'll do me for Xmas.

Re: Chestnuts - how and when do I use them?

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:52 am
by Odsox
I bought a net of them when we went shopping on Tuesday.
Handily the shop's chestnut selling season coincides with the wood burner lighting season, which also coincides with the burnt finger season from trying to peel roasted chestnuts.