Without Cutting Off Your Thumb!
I've eaten Chestnuts @ Christmas parties; very tasty esp. if roasted/salted; a funny story; my friend and I bought Chestnuts years ago; we lived in a town-house from the 1890's Conn. ; we brought the Chestnuts to the Microwave; put them in; went out to get more packages; when we walked back in the house; "ping-ping-pong"; loud popping sounds: "its the lightbulbs I shouted; must be a shortage"; where's the fuse box I yelled: Pete ran to the fuse box and turned everything down; wait a minute its not the lightbulbs popping; its the roasting Chestnuts popping !!! we really got a kick out of those Chestnuts !!! Happy Thanksgiving!!! : )
One comment said They open the Chestnuts with Their teeth and eat them fresh. I Cannot resist this, I have one large American Chestnut tree in my yard, and it produces hundreds of Nuts each year. They all have to be picked up just to Mow the lawn, due to the large Thorny husks, and I always sit on the front porch and Eat a few, biting the Nuts to crack them, and Eating the Delicious Sweet Nuts after peeling them. They are very Good and Sweet, I also have Pecans, both are great, but the Chestnuts are Sweeter. The first time I Roasted some, They Exploded in the oven, making a terrible mess, this was before I learned to Slit them first to allow the steam to escape while roasting. I still Prefer them fresh and crunchy the day they fall from the tree, on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea.
It took me many years to finally come up with a foolproof way to cook chestnuts. Here's what I do: First, be sure to select nuts that are are full rounded and do not show any blemishes, mold, or are starting to split. Scrub chestnuts in warm water. Using a chestnut knife (there actually is such a thing) or a bird beak parer, make an "X" on the rounded side of each nut. Put in a pot of boiling water that is well salted and simmer 7 minutes. Take them out of the water and place on a shallow pan or pie plate (I use a discarded aluminum pan from the bakery). Place in a 425 degree oven for 24-27 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly and gently squeeze each nut to pop shell. Let them cool enough to handle and finish peeling them. We are chestnut addicts and it works for us every time. Some people score the nuts around the circumference rather than make an x, but I think that's too much work.
We would cook them by roasting or steaming. After you cut an X into the shell: 1) roast in a pan or on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes or unti shells pull apart and nuts are tender. Or, 2) boil an inch of water in a saucepan and set the chestnuts in a steam basket for about 20 minutes (covering the pot).
I have never had a roasted chestnut but seeing them on so many movies and Christmas movies I would love to try some. On the Internet it says they’re nasty tasting but still to me it would be wonderful at Christmas. I see that you can cook them in the oven other than an open fire could you send me any recipes or ways to cook them in the oven and over an open fire, would appreciate any information for me to have successful roasted chestnuts thank you so much
Connie: Chestnuts are not "NASTY" tasting, they are delicious and good chestnuts are slightly sweet. Buy chestnuts that are hard with shiny shells. Flat sided chestnuts sit on a baking sheet a lot easier so try to choose them. Only bad chestnuts that I have had are ones that have gotten mildewed. You can tell if you have a bad chestnut because once opened the nut itself will be black inside and are not creamy colored. Bad ones can also puff out a tiny cloud of mildewed dust. Chestnuts can be difficult to peel. After cutting an X onto the chestnut, place the chestnut with the x-side up onto the baking sheet, pop them them into a 400-425 F. degree oven, and lightly sprinkle or spray water on them. They are usually baked anywhere from 20-30 minutes. If the "X" spreads backwards, that is when they are usually done. I usually sample a chestnut and if the chestnut is not hard, then it is ready to eat or use in a recipe.
Now I know why they're $6.00 for a small jar! Please remember to add "blood" to all suggested recipes.