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Recipes

Chestnuts Roasted on an Open Fire

Instructions developed by Ken Hunt and Julie Rhoads, UMCA

Prepare a charcoal fire on your BBQ grill. Propane could also be used, but the charcoal gives the nuts an additional smoky flavor. With a knife or a hand pruner garden tool, cut a ¼ inch deep slit on the flat side of each nut. This will allow the heated moisture to escape from inside the chestnut and will prevent them from exploding when heated on the fire.

Place the cut nuts in a metal pan such as a stainless steel wok or a cast iron skillet and place the pan on the grilling rack. While roasting, turn the nuts frequently with a metal spatula. Roasting the nuts will take about 20 minutes. When cooled the shells will become brittle and will be easy to peel with your fingers.

The nuts can also be roasted on a bonfire by using a long handled metal pan. The nuts will only take about 5-10 minutes to cook over a hot fire or coals and they must be turned frequently to prevent scorching of the shells and meat.




Removing Chestnut Raw Meats from the Shell Using Steaming Method

Instructions developed by Julie Rhoads, UMCA

Chestnuts are perishable and should be treated similar to apples with regards to storage and refrigeration. The raw chestnut meats can be boiled and used for a wide variety of recipes. Before removing the raw meats from leathery shell, bring chestnuts to room temperature. Next wash chestnuts to remove any dirt. Cut fresh chestnuts still in their shell in half with a hand pruner garden tool. A hand pruner works much better than attempting to cut them in half with a knife.

The steaming method has been found to be the most effective method for easily separating the shells from the meat. Place cut chestnuts in a collapsible steaming basket placed in a pan with approximately ½ inch of water. Bring water to a boil and steam the chestnuts until the meats separate from the shell. The chestnuts will be slightly cooked but still crunchy at this point. You can continue steaming the nuts to reach the desired level of crunchiness or continue to steam them until they are a soft consistency.




Removing Chestnut Meats from the Shell

Instructions developed by Ken Hunt and Julie Rhoads, UMCA

Bring chestnuts to room temperature. Cut fresh chestnuts still in their leathery shell in half with a hand pruner garden tool. A hand pruner works much better than attempting to cut them in half with a knife. Spread cut chestnuts out in a single layer in a glass pan containing a small amount of water. Microwave in most ovens for 60 seconds and remove from microwave. Overcooking makes it difficult to separate meat from the shell.

Cool slightly. Many of the meats will have separated from the shell and the thin tan-colored pellicle. If none have separated, microwave for 60 more seconds. For those that do not separate completely, squeeze on the edges of the shell and the meat should pop out. The meats are not cooked at this point and further preparation such as boiling or baking is necessary to make them soft and suitable for using in dishes containing fresh chestnut meats.




Chicken Salad with Chestnuts

Recipe from Fadler Farms

1 ½ cups shelled raw chestnut meats
2 ½ cups of chopped cooked chicken
1 stalk celery, chopped
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon dill
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Chestnut Meat from the Shell". Boil shelled chestnut meats in chicken broth or water about 9 minutes or until meats remain slightly crunchy, drain. Let meats cool and then coarsely chop the chestnut meats.

Combine chopped chestnuts, chicken, celery, and onion in a medium, mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, dill, salt and pepper. Stir into chicken mixture. Refrigerate for 2 or more hours. Serve as an appetizer spread with crackers or as a sandwich filling.




Chestnut and Spinach Dip

Recipe developed by Julie Rhoads, UMCA

* 1 ½ cups shelled raw chestnut meats
* 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
* ¼ cup diced green onion
* 1 or 2 packages of dried vegetable soup mix
* 2 cups sour cream
* 1 cup mayonnaise

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Chestnut Meat from the Shell". Boil shelled chestnut meats in chicken broth or water about 9 minutes or until slightly crunchy, drain. Let meats cool and then coarsely chop the meats. Rinse thawed spinach in water and drain thoroughly in a small strainer.

Combine meats and other ingredients in a bowl. Two packages of the vegetable soup mix will make a more seasoned and thicker dip if desired. Refrigerate mixture at least 6 hours to soften the dried vegetables and combine flavors. Serve with crackers and/or pour into a bread bowl.




Chestnuts and Wild Rice

1 C wild rice
2 ½ C chicken broth
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. olive oil
½ C chopped fresh chestnut meats
4 green onions, sliced thin

Rinse the rice thoroughly. Place in pan with chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then turn to low for 45 - 60 minutes until firm but chewy. When done, drain. While rice is cooking, prepare 1 cup of fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Chestnut Meat from the Shell". Boil shelled chestnut meats in chicken broth or water about 9 minutes or until slightly crunchy, drain. Let meats cool and then coarsely chop the meats. Sautee mushrooms in tsp. of olive oil. For 2 to 3 minutes until tender, add in green onions, chestnut meats and drained rice. Serves 4.




CHESTNUT 'N HONEY CORNBREAD

1 C yellow cornmeal
½ c unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
⅓ C honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 ½ C chestnut flour
½ C buttermilk
2 large eggs
½ C water (adjust if needed) Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square pan with non-stick spray. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs, honey and water. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes. Cool on rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6




CHESTNUT DRESSING

From Laura Peterson's kitchen and used each year since 1959
2 lbs chestnuts
6 C soft bread crumbs
½ C melted butter
¼ C chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Remove shell and pellicle from chestnuts (See How to Peel under "Cooking" above). Mash chestnuts and put into a large bowl with bread crumbs, melted butter, onions and seasonings. Toss well with a large fork. Stuff lightly into neck and body cavities of turkey




Chestnut Hummus

Recipe from Executive Chef Eric Cartwright, University of Missouri
* 1 ½ cup Chestnut meats
* 1 ½ cup Parsnips, peeled, cut 1"
* 1 clove Garlic
* ¼ cup Fresh lemon juice
* 4 Tbsp. Butter
* ¼ cup Olive Oil
* 2 tsp. Cumin
* 2 Tbsp. Tahini
* t.t. Salt and pepper
* 2 Tbsp. Fresh parsley, chopped
1. Place the chestnuts and parsnips in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until they are very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander, reserving 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid.
2. Transfer the chestnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Puree along with the reserved cooking liquid, garlic, lemon, butter, olive oil, and cumin until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and cool it to room temperature.
4. Just before serving, drizzle the tahini over the top and garnish with chopped parsley.
5. Serve with pita chips, flat bread, or vegetables




Nutrient composition of 1 ounce Chestnut

(3 chestnuts/ounce) roasted chestnuts:
(source: USDA; www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp)

Protein: 1.2 grams
Fat: 0.3 grams
Carbohydrate: 14.4 grams
Fiber: 1.4 grams
Vitamin C: 11 milligrams
Calories: 68
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 23 mg
Potassium: 608 mg

Also a source of magnesium and phytonutrients.