They're gorgeous in both sweet or savoury dishes
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire is, unequivocally, the sight and smell of chilly winter nights. But beyond cracking open their blistered, conker-brown skin and snarfling them with a glass of wine, how many of us actually know what we're doing when it comes to cooking with chestnuts?
Here's everything you need to know...
First things first – how to cook them
Whole chestnuts taste best either baked, roasted or boiled. There are various contraptions on the market to make roasting on an open flame easier – there are large, specifically designed slotted spoons available with holes in their base to let the flames through – but you can improvise by poking some holes in a tin can. Then all you need to do is fill the can up about a quarter with chestnuts and put the tin in the fire until cooked, which will take around 15 minutes. (Just always wear protective oven gloves.) If you end up baking or boiling your chestnuts, just remember to test with a skewer before you eat. Their flesh should be soft and fluffy. Failing that, you can buy them pre-prepared and vacuum packed – and if you don't tell anyone we won't either.
Now we've covered the basics, give these a go...
Here are our favourite chestnut recipes for you to try. We're now officially obsessed.
This is a seriously hearty little number with lots of flavour from the mushrooms. As a nice twist on a classic pie recipe, we've topped this with a crusty garlic loaf instead of pastry. It's genius.
Just the perfect midweek dinner for anyone who wants a cuddle from the inside out. Ace with billowing clouds of buttery mash.
These stuffed dates will double as a gorgeous pud with coffee, as they're deliciously rich and sweet.
Vegetarians will be used to being served up goat's cheese tarts ad nauseam, but this one is totally different. Rich, sweet yet savoury and packed full of flavour, you'll make this again and again.
Mushroom and chestnuts are a woodland partnership made in heaven and this easy and delicious soup is even better the next day, making it perfect to bring in with you to work.
Phwoar. Just phwoar.
We have it on very good authority that even those who aren't the biggest fan of sprouts will be very into this side dish.
Gone are the days when a nut roast was a boring addition to any roast dinner – this is definitely the main event and will have meat eaters and veggies alike scrambling for seconds.
These chocolate and chestnut bars are packed with chocolate and rich flavours. Go on, treat yourself.