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Chestnut Recipes

Chestnuts with Pears and Onions

  • 3 T. UNSALTED BUTTER 
  • 1 LB. CHESTNUTS, PEELED
  • 1 LB. SMALL WHITE (PEARL) ONIONS
  • 2 C. BEEF OR CHICKEN BROTH
  • 1 C. PORT WINE
  • 1/4 C. BROWN SUGAR
  • 4 FIRM PEARS
  • SALT
  • FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER

Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Sauté chestnuts until lightly browned. Remove and reserve. Sauté onions until lightly browned. Return the chestnuts to the pan and add the broth, port and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 min.

Peel and core pears. Slice into 1/2 in. wedges. Add to the pan and continue to simmer for an additional 30 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Serves 6. Wonderful with roast pork or poultry.

Variation: substitute apples for the pears.

Chestnut and Apple Casserole

  • 2 LBS. PEELED CHESTNUTS OR 3 C. DRIED CHESTNUTS, RECONSTITUED
  • 2-3 C. CHICKEN BROTH
  • 1 T. BUTTER
  • 1 1/2 T. FLOUR
  • 1/2 t. SALT
  • 4 MEDIUM COOKING APPLES
  • 2 T. BUTTER
  • 3/4 C. BROWN SUGAR
  • 1 LB. LEAN LINK SAUSAGES

Cook chestnuts in chicken broth for 10 min. Pour into shallow casserole. Add additional chicken broth, if necessary, to cover the chestnuts. Cook covered in 300º F oven for 30 min. or until the chestnuts are tender, but not mushy. Remove cover; stir in the mixture of 1-T. butter, the flour and salt. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, core and slice the apples in 1/2" rings. Roll in brown sugar and cook in 2-T. butter until browned and tender.

Fry sausages. Remove the casserole from the oven. Cover the chestnuts with a layer of apples, then of sausages. Return to oven for an additional 5-10 min. Serve immediately or prepare up to one day in advance, refrigerate and heat before serving.

Serves 8.

Chestnut Fennel Soup

  • 2 C. COOKED PEELED CHESTNUTS
  • 1 C. CHOPPED LEEKS (WHITE & PALE GREEN ONLY)
  • 2 T. UNSALTED BUTTER
  • 2 T. DRY WHITE WINE
  • 1 C. CHOPPED FENNEL
  • 4 C. VEGETABLE OR CHICKEN BROTH
  • SALT, PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 1 T. LEMON JUICE
  • 1/2 C. CRÈME FRAICHE

Coarsely chop chestnuts. Cook leeks in butter in a soup pot over moderate heat, until softened. Add wine and simmer until almost all liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in fennel, broth and chestnuts. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Puree mixture in batches in a blender until smooth, transferring to a bowl. Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer, thinning with stock or water, if desired. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice.

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with a swirl of crème fraiche.

Serves 6.

Tagliatelle with Chestnuts, Mushrooms and Sausage

  • 1 1/2 OZ. DRIED PORCINI MUSHROOMS
  • 1# FRESH CHESTNUTS, PEELED
  • 5 C. CHICKEN BROTH
  • 1 BAY LEAF
  • 2 SHALLOTS, CHOPPED
  • 3/4# MILD CHICKEN SAUSAGE, SUCH AS CHICKEN & APPLE
  • 1/2 t. CARDAMOM
  • 8 OZ. TAGLIATELLE, PREFERABLY CHESTNUT
  • SALT AND PEPPER, TO TASTE
  • 1/4 C. CHOPPED, FRESH PARSLEY

Cover the dried mushrooms with boiling water. Let stand about 20 min. until softened. Place the chestnuts in a saucepan with the chicken stock, bay leaf and shallots. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, until chestnuts are tender.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Slit the sausage casings and crumble the meat into the pan. Sauté, breaking the sausage apart until browned.

Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and add to the sausage pan with 3/4 C. of the reserved, strained mushroom liquid. Simmer about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf from the chestnuts; add the chestnuts and shallots with 1 C. of the chicken broth and the cardamom to the skillet containing the sausage and mushrooms. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Prepare the tagliatelle, as directed on the package, for al dente. Drain the pasta and toss it with the chestnut mixture. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 4.

Crunchy Chestnut Salad

  • 2 APPLES, CORED & THINLY SLICED
  • 2 FENNEL BULBS, THINLY SLICED
  • 1 C, COOKED, PEELED CHESTNUTS
  • 3/4 C DRIED CRANBERRIES
  • 4 C MIXED LETTUCES, SUCH AS ARUGULA OR MESCLUN

DRESSING:

  • 2 T LEMON JUICE
  • 1/4 C ORANGE JUICE
  • 3 T OLIVE OIL
  • 1/2 t SALT
  • BLACK PEPPER
  • GRATED ORANGE ZEST

Combine the apples, fennel, chestnuts and cranberries in a bowl. Prepare dressing by combining the lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil. Whisk and add black pepper to taste. Toss greens with half the dressing and place on individual serving plates  Toss remaining dressing with apple mixture. Drain and mound on top of greens. Garnish with orange zest. Serve immediately.

Serves 6-8

Savory Chestnut Puree

  • 1 LB. FRESH CHESTNUTS OR
  • 2 C. DRIED CHESTNUTS
  • 1 1/2 C. CHICKEN BROTH
  • 2 T. MADEIRA
  • 2 T. HALF AND HALF
  • 2 T. UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED
  • 1/4 t. NUTMEG
  • 1/4 t. CINNAMON
  • 1/8 t. ALLSPICE
  • SALT AND PEPPER

Peel fresh chestnuts or reconstitute dried. Put in pan with chicken broth and Madeira. Cover and simmer about 35 minutes until the nuts are soft. Place mixture in blender with half and half. Puree until smooth. Add butter and spices and blend well. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Delicious with celery root puree and game meat or beef.

Serves 6.

Chestnut and Wild Rice Stuffing

  • 1 C. WILD RICE
  • 12 OZ. FRESH CHESTNUTS OR 1 C DRIED CHESTNUTS
  • 5 C. WATER
  • 1/2 t. SALT
  • 4 T. BUTTER
  • 1 MEDIUM ONION
  • 2 APPLES
  • 1 FENNEL BULB
  • 1 t. SALT
  • 1/2 t. BLACK PEPPER
  • 3/4 t. FENNEL SEED
  • 1 T. FRESH THYME OR
  • 1 t. DRIED THYME
  • 1/2 C. CHOPPED PARSLEY

Bring the water and 1/2 t. salt to boil. Add wild rice and dried chestnuts. Cover and simmer until rice splits, about 50 minutes. Drain and set aside. If using fresh chestnuts, prepare and cook until tender and set aside. Prepare the wild rice with 4 C. water and 1/2 t. salt. Drain.

Melt the butter over  medium heat in a large fry pan. Coarsely chop the onion, core and coarsely chop the apples and the fennel. Add to the pan. Add the  salt, pepper, fennel seed, and thyme. Cover and cook about 15-20 minutes, until  tender.  Add the chestnuts, wild rice and parsley to the pan. Combine thoroughly. Place in  a shallow casserole and bake, covered, in 325º F. oven for 30 minutes.

Variation:Omit the thyme. Substitute 1/4 C. dried cranberries and 1 t. ground ginger. Add to the casserole with the rice.

Serves 8-10.

Note: This dish is also delicious when used as a stuffing for turkey. Follow the directions for roasting stuffed poultry.

Chestnut Cream

  • 12 OZ. FRESH CHESTNUTS OR 1 C. DRIED CHESTNUTS
  • 2/3 C. GRANULATED SUGAR
  • 1/4 C. WATER
  • 1 t. GROUND GINGER
  • 1 C. WHIPPING CREAM

Cook and peel the fresh chestnuts or reconstitute the dried chestnuts. Cover with water and simmer until very tender and mushy. Drain and reserve the water. Puree in a food processor, adding reserved water as needed to make a smooth puree. Combine sugar and water in pan. Bring to boil and cook to soft ball stage (235º F.) Add to chestnut puree. Whip the cream with the ginger and fold into chestnut mixture.

Place into individual serving dishes and chill at least 2 hrs. Serves 8.

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Ladd Hill Orchards is a Member of the Chestnut Growers of America