Thursday, December 2

How to roast chestnuts at home and three recipes to cook with them



Although in many places it seems that they only exist around November 1 – All Saints’ holiday – the entire autumn and winter are chestnuts time, a fruit that we can consume in many ways. Surely the most popular is roasted, since in addition to a slightly toasted flavor and a crunchy texture on the outside and tender on the inside, we can enjoy the aroma they give off while they cook; that claim that says “hello, hello, eat me” and clouds your sense every time you walk down the street and discover that a chestnut tree is nearby. Good news; You can eat this delicacy at home, without having to sell an organ or ask for a second mortgage to pay them: today we will prepare roasted chestnuts and cook three recipes with them.

We will start by choosing the chestnuts in the best conditions to achieve a good result: Alfonso López, blog author Yummy Recipes, what how orensano de pro knows a lot about the subject, recommends choosing them a shiny brown brown without spots, that they are large and heavy, and discard those that have cuts, “because as they come in hedgehogs full of tips, the hoe is usually used to open them already sometimes they break or are cut ”.

Two more features to avoid? The holes, “well that means they have a bug”, and you could eat a lot of extra unsolicited proteins. “The flatter ones are also advisable to leave them, as they tend to be difficult to peel and have little chicha to eat”, clarifies López, which also recommends choosing them of the same caliber so that they are made equally. Otherwise, the larger ones will be raw and the smaller ones well done.

With the raw material in our hands, we will clean them well and make a cut lengthwise or widthwise – with this they will peel better – so that they do not explode. To remove the skin more easily and also hydrate the fruit, we can soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes; This can make a difference, especially in fruits that are not freshly picked. From here on, the most traditional way to cook them is on the flame; If we have a fireplace at hand, we can use the wood fireplace, or even grill them with charcoal on a barbecue. Both in these two cases and if we make them on the gas stove and we want to achieve the characteristic roasted and smoked flavor, we should get a chestnut frying pan, so that the fruit has direct exposure to fire. Uncovered and stirring often so they cook evenly. The total time depends on factors such as size or how fresh they are, but we can estimate between 15 and 30 minutes (so it is important to keep a close eye on them).

We can also make them with a normal frying pan on gas, glass-ceramic or induction; In this case, it is best to choose the one that is in the worst condition, since it is possible that it will suffer in the process (listen to us and leave the non-stick, the tortilla and the crown jewels for another time). It is important not to crowd the chestnuts so that they receive heat everywhere and can be stirred properly: the amount you can make per batch will depend on the size of the pan.

The last system we propose, although it is the one that works best if we have to make a large quantity of chestnuts – since we will have much more space – is the oven. How can we optimize the use of this appliance when the light is at its all-time highs? Adding an extra tray – normally ovens have two and a rack – when we are cooking anything else at 200 degrees. Chestnuts must also be cut – no matter how you cook them, that always applies – and they must be stirred every 10 minutes so that they are equally roasted; They will take about 30 approximately, although it depends on their size.

Roasted chestnuts with chocolate, flake salt and spices

It’s a candy? Is it a healthy snack? Is it an energy bomb? You are right; Those three things, and also a good way to vary the classic way of eating roasted chestnuts a bit. It is not necessary to consume them at the moment, but we should not forget about them for more than a day or two because they can become gummy; Storing them in a cool, dry place will help keep them as good as possible. You can swap out the spices for your favorites, or use citrus zest, pastry matcha, or chopped dried fruit.

Ingredients

For 4 people

  • 20 freshly roasted chestnuts
  • 100 g of chocolate 70% cacao
  • Maldon salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Cinnamon, cardamom, lavender flowers, citrus zest, dried fruit, etc. (optional)

Preparation

  1. When they no longer burn, peel the chestnuts trying not to break them.
  2. Chop the chocolate and melt it in a water bath or in the microwave, on medium power and in 15-second intervals, stirring between one interval and another.
  3. When it is melted, dip the chestnuts in it from the top, put them on a plate or platter with the flat side down and, before they harden, spread a little Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper on the surface.
  4. Let cool and eat; If they are not going to be consumed immediately, store them in an airtight tin or jar.

Carrot, pumpkin and ‘shiitake’ cream with chestnut

Autumn made cream, or the hundreds of versions of this very useful first course that we published in El Comidista (and something tells me that it will not be the last). With this well-browned cucurbit, carrot and onion we will be able to raise its flavor to the stratosphere, the chestnuts will give texture both to the crushed cream itself and to each tablespoon in small pieces such as topping and the depth of the mushrooms shiitake will round up the play. If you are going to use dehydrated mushrooms, do not throw away the soaking water: it can be used to flavor this same cream, a rice or a miso soup.

Ingredients

For 6-8 people

  • 20 roasted chestnuts
  • 4 baby carrots
  • 750 g of diced pumpkin
  • 12 mushrooms shiitake fresh or dry
  • 1 l of water, chicken or vegetable broth or water to hydrate the shiitake
  • 1 onion
  • The white part of a leek
  • 3 natural yogurts
  • One teaspoon of allspice or three pinches of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves
  • A splash of oil
  • A little butter (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. If the shiitake they are dehydrated, regenerate them in hot water (it can be used later instead of the broth).
  2. Peel and thickly chop 14 of the chestnuts and chop the rest to decorate (they don’t have to be very small).
  3. Peel the onion and brown it in a large saucepan over medium-low heat with a little oil — and, if you like, a little butter — and a pinch of salt.
  4. Remove the two outer layers of the leek and cut it into slices of about half a centimeter. When the onion begins to become transparent, add the leek.
  5. About three minutes later, add the diced pumpkin and thickly sliced ​​carrots. Raise the heat a little and let the pumpkin and carrot brown, stirring approximately every three minutes.
  6. Chop four shiitakes small or make strips and reserve. Add the rest, quartered, to the casserole.
  7. Add the spices and stir for about 30 seconds.
  8. Pour in the broth, add the thickly chopped chestnuts and bring to a boil over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  9. Remove from the heat, add two yogurts and blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with the chopped chestnuts and mushrooms, a little of the remaining yogurt, a drizzle of oil and freshly ground pepper.

Roasted chestnut flan without eggs or dairy

This dessert, breakfast or snack is not only suitable for vegans, but also for those who suffer from allergies to eggs or cow’s milk proteins. The thickener used – corn starch or cornstarch – is also suitable for coeliacs, and we can sweeten it with sugar, dates or honey (although in this case it will no longer be vegan). The remaining chestnut pulp can be used to make banana oatmeal cookies or thicken a stew, and can be served with some ice cream or coconut cream.

Ingredients

For about 8 puddings

  • 4 tablespoons of sugar and a few drops of lemon juice for the caramel
  • 30 roasted and peeled chestnuts
  • 6 dates or 4 tablespoons of sugar (or to taste, if you want it sweeter)
  • 1 l of cold water
  • 100 g de maizena
  • 1 vanilla bean (or a little essence)

Preparation

  1. Prepare the caramel in a saucepan or frying pan, with the four tablespoons of sugar, a few drops of water and another of lemon juice, over low heat without stirring until it melts so that no lumps come out (and from that moment stirring without stopping so that it does not burn and bitter). Distribute at the base of eight flan.
  2. Chop the chestnuts, make sure there is no skin left, and soak them in 1 liter of water (if dates are used, with the pitted dates). If the water becomes cloudy or impurities appear, strain the chestnuts and dates and change the water after one hour. Let it rest in the fridge overnight.
  3. Blend the water with the chestnuts and dates (if using sugar instead, add at this time) with a blender or robot for two to three minutes at maximum power; or longer if the appliance is not at its best: we want the chestnuts to be as crushed as possible.
  4. Let it rest for about 15 minutes and strain the chestnut drink with a very fine strainer, a cheesecloth or a very clean fine cotton cloth.
  5. Open the vanilla pod in half lengthwise and add the seeds to the drink (or put a tablespoon of essence). In a glass or large jar, put about 200 ml of the cold drink. Add the cornstarch and stir well with a fork or a few rods until it is completely undone and without lumps.
  6. Bring the remaining drink to a boil over medium heat and, when it is hot, add the reserved glass with the diluted cornstarch. Stir without stopping with a few rods until it boils again, lower the heat and let it boil for a couple of minutes over low heat until it thickens, without stopping stirring so that it does it all over.
  7. Spread over the caramelized custards and allow to cool. When they are at room temperature, put them in the fridge for a minimum of three or four hours, until they thicken. Run a lace through the mold to facilitate unmolding before turning them over to serve.

If you make this recipe, share the result on your social networks with the hashtag #RecetasComidista. And if it goes wrong, complain to the Chef’s Ombudsman by sending an email to [email protected]


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