November 24, 2008

Roasting Michigan Chestnuts

I had a chance to take some pictures of the chestnuts I roasted for my cranberry-filled chocolate chestnut cupcakes and thought I'd share them. As a kid I would make my parents buy chestnuts primarily because of that infamous "chestnuts roasting over an open fire" line, I'm a sucker for Christmas music. Of course I'd only eat 1 or 2 chestnuts which probably drove them crazy. I've continued to buy them as an adult and still roast them, eat 1 or 2 and then try to find something like stuffing to throw them in so they don't go to waste. I've never had a chance to make a recipe that really showcases chestnuts. This year I plan on changing that and the cupcakes were just the beginning.

How to roast chestnuts
-Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
-Cut a shallow X into the shell of the rounded side of each chestnut.
-Place the chestnuts flat side down onto a baking sheet.
-Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the shell curls back.
-Cool until safe to handle and remove both shiny, dark brown shell and the furry, papery skin.

Michigan chestnuts

A scored chestnutTwo roasted and peeled chestnuts A pile of roasted, peeled Michigan chestnuts

Some of the recipes I'd like to try:
A skillet method for roasting chestnuts from
Roasted chestnuts and smoked pancetta on a bed of spinach and red quinoa from Lucullian Delights (a mouthful of a recipe title but the ingredients are right up my alley)
Sopa de Castanas (Chestnut soup) from Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried (chestnuts with chorizo, yum!)
Chestnut Apple Ravioli from The Expatriate's Kitchen
Chestnut Rice from Closet Cooking (simple but it sounds really delicious)
Caramelized Onion Butternut Squash Roast with Chestnuts from Cooking Books
Chestnut Mousse from Madcap Cupcake (Alex and I really loved the chestnut frosting and I've been wanting to make this mousse since I saw it back in May.)
Warm sweet potato pudding with apples and chestnuts from (This description sold me "the best sweet-potato pie you've ever eaten and then take away the crust so you can revel solely in its silky goodness")

*Don't forget the Michigan-based Chestnut Growers, Inc. They have upcoming sales in Detroit and East Lansing.


miss v said...

this makes me want to sing! and they look so different than i though they did!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Thanks for the primer. I've never worked with chestnuts before so this is all good to know.

doggybloggy said...

I am with you - I like them, I buy them, I roast them, I eat 2...I like them in stuffing - I havent tried other things...maybe chestnut butter...hmmmmm chestnut butter?

VeggieGirl said...

So succulent.

shellyfish said...

I love chestnuts - they are very popular here in the fall/winter : in soups, whipped & mashed (like potatoes). I'm the only one who really likes them, though, so I don't use them very often!

"Prof. Kitty" said...

These look fabulous--I get intimidated when I see the bushels of chestnuts set out at the store because I don't know what to do with them. But now I'm not afraid. Thanks! (We start "officially" listening to Christmas music on Thanksgiving after dinner. Can't wait. Nat "King" Cole's "Christmas Song" is the ultimate.)

jesse said...

Yum, I used to eat roast chestnuts all the time as a kid... this certainly brings back fond memories.

TavoLini said...

Honestly, I've never had them. I'm really interested in hearing the results from those recipes!

Gabi said...

So kool!

I love those chestnuts as well! The thing that I hate is peeling the soft skin on them. It looks like yours didn't have that. Or you did a great job at peeling?

I saw in our ethnic grocery something that's called Korean Chestnuts. Look the same but bigger.

Also last month I made an Italian desert with chesnuts (boiled this time) called Montebianco. Basically chestnut puree topped with whipped cream.

Gabi @

farida said...

Great tutorial! I am glad chestnut season is in full swing. There are so many delicious recipes with them I want to try!

Colloquial Cook said...

Excellent! this afternoon I made secret roasted chestnuts in the embassy's oven (where i work)for a few colleagues and myself. I even made newspaper cones like they do in Strasbourg at the Christmas market!

Adam said...

Ha I'm a sucker for Christmas music too. It's impossible to smell roasted chestnuts and not think of that song. Good thing they are so tasty :)

dessert girl said...

I love chestnuts! Trader Joe's has a really good frozen variety. On Xmas we go with fresh chestnuts, but I always buy a frozen bag, so I can eat them all year round!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I love roasted chestnuts. Here they're sold in every street corner all Autumn and Winter. I also like them boiled and eat them just like that, as only chestnut meal.

Maria said...

Oh yum!! These look divine!

Zesty Cook said...

WOW Delicious. I have never worked with chestnuts before. great Job!


Queen B. said...

How was your turkey ??
I just remodeled my Cozy Kitchen.
HAVE you picked out a facuet yet??? I love my new faucet !

Jo said...

oooo those make me want some chestnut stuffing so bad! Yummy :)

muddywaters said...

Thanks for showcasing the local growers.

I'll need to give these a try. I can cross another thing off the list of things I've always wanted to experience.

Keep up the good work.

mlle noëlle said...

Thanks so much for the link to the local growers. I checked it out and luckily they're going to be at Eastern Market this weekend, so I can pick some up!

Giff said...

I've always wanted to know how to roast chestnuts!

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

great pics! what camera are you using, if I may ask?

muddywaters said...

I just returned from my grocery store, and their chestnuts were imported from Italy. I'm going to request or suggest that they get some Michigan Chestnuts.

Giff said...

Thanks again for posting this. I followed your directions tonight for a pork concoction I was putting together, and the extra chestnuts made a great snack!