Many Ways to Skin a . . . Chestnut

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I’m not sure which I find more annoying: peeling chestnuts or peeling fava beans. With the last of the decent chestnuts lingering (I had these in my fridge for weeks) and the first of the favas not yet here (soon!), I didn’t have to choose.

The chestnut thing is really a hassle, but it’s always worth it. You can get those skins off any way you want: simmering, roasting, even deep frying. The issue is that they must be peeled while they’re still hot, and that is a definite Ouch! I roasted these: slashed the flat side, threw them in pan in a hot oven for 15 or 20 minutes, and started peeling; the towel helps. Some came out of their shells in whole pieces, which are gorgeous; some, of course, did not.

Then I sauteed them in butter, with leeks. Worth it? Seriously.

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4 thoughts on “Many Ways to Skin a . . . Chestnut

  1. Fava beans – worse, because you can’t pop one in your mouth immediately after all the hassle. Love the chestnuts idea. Have you experimented with chestnut flour?

  2. Which is worse? Peeling chestnuts or removing the seeds from pomegranates? Perhaps there’s a "Most Complicated Dish in the World" competition idea here combining chestnuts, fava, pomegranates and some other foods TBD. Artichokes perhaps?

  3. I discovered chestnuts in Turkey last year. First, roasted from a street vendor, then as a creamy desert (chestnuts cooked in milk, a tiny bit of sugar and vanilla, pureed, then given a top layer of dark chocolate). I can’t wait to try chestnuts in savory dishes. They are packed with nutrients, including vit. c, and are guten free! Worth the effort, indeed!

  4. Mark – please take a look at our chestnut peeling video, and if possible, give it a try-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnthcUOQWToThat link is to my "short" version (still working on editing it down) – for real chestnut aficionados, there’s a long version; and more, at my blog:http://badgersettresearch.blogspot.com/2010/12/updated-chestnut-peeling-video.htmlSeriously- this is a new way to peel, and it makes it totally easy; no more work than preparing potatoes. Since you’re using a small pliers to pop them out, the handling hot aspect is much much less hazardous.

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