Thursday, September 24, 2009

Roasted Chestnuts

Summer must be over cause I'm roasting chestnuts! Not over an open fire though, although Johnny Mathis won't stop singing in my head! For weeks I've been walking the dog past this huge tree full of fuzzy, green balls, wondering what they were. One day I even reached up and touched one because they looked so soft...they're not. They left little needles in my fingers! But about a week ago, they started falling and splitting open and to my amazement, they were full of beautiful, shiny brown chestnuts. I showed them to Jose one day on our walk, and the owner was outside and told us all about them..."if you grind them with mantequilla you can spread it on toast"..."they're called castana in Spanish"..."Chinese people come at 4 in the morning and eat them and leave the spiky covers all over the sidewalk." He made Jose eat one, telling him how to bite it just right to split the hard skin open. This morning, while I walked the dog, I filled the dogs designated "poop bag" full of them (ewww, not a used poop bag!!) while the dog ate the crushed chestnuts off the ground, and brought them home

Tonight I looked up some recipes online and apparently they're better if you actually do roast them over an open fire, but an oven works too. The recipes were all pretty similar. Here's how they went:

Remove the chestnuts from the scary husks if they haven't already popped out.

Cut an "x" into the skins so they don't explode in the oven and put them on a pan or baking dish.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the skins pop open and they're tender.

Dump them in a towel, bundle them up, and smash a bit to loosen the skins.

Let 'em sit a few minutes, peel, and enjoy!


Molly said...

In Spain they sold them out on the street in the winter in paper cones. I bought some once and thought they were gross. Maybe I'll have to give them another try.

Ashley C. said...

Haha. They are kind of mealy, but I like them. Probably more so because I actually roasted them myself, which is half the fun!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE love love roasted chestnuts - and it's very true, I totally associate them with Winter.