I love chowing on warm, smoky, brain-shaped nuggets in the wintertime. There’s something so comforting about the smell of roasted chestnuts — don’t you agree?
We used to roast chestnuts in the oven but they’re a pain to peel. However, if you toss them on a hot grill outside, the nuts roast in about 5 minutes and the crispy charred skins fall right off. I’ll gladly freeze my ass off outside for a few minutes if the reward is a bowl of piping hot roasted chestnuts.
To feed 4-6 snackers, buy two pounds of chestnuts. Use a sharp paring knife to cut an “X” on the flat side of each one…
…and toss them right on the grates of a gas grill set on high.
Constantly flip the chestnuts for about 5 minutes or until they’re charred.
Peel them while they’re still warm and try to save some for the other noshers.
No fuss, no muss!
I love Japanese grocery stores! A lot of the food is excessively packaged and super processed, but the stores are so damn clean, especially compared to other Asian markets. (Been to a 99 Ranch lately? Yowsers!)
I hadn’t been to Nijiya Market in a while because I no longer need to stock up on mirin, soy products, soba noodles, Japanese curry mix, etc. since going Paleo. But today, I returned to check out Nijiya’s selection of meat and organic produce (which is pretty extensive).
I picked up a few veggies and some packages of organic peeled and cooked chestnuts…
…Rocky free-range chicken thighs, boneless, with skin-on…
…and pork belly!
I love that Nijiya carries unusual cuts of meat that are harder to find at most big-chain American grocery stores. I’m gonna be sous viding the pork belly and thighs, so keep your eyes peeled for a blog post about ‘em later this week.
Personally, I find chestnuts a real pain to cook and peel so I like to buy them ready to eat. Trader Joe’s sells some that are steamed, peeled, and vacuum-packed and other places carry them in jars. While I was catching up on my beauty sleep, Fitbomb got it into his head that he wanted to roast some up the old-fashioned way.
He took 2 cups of chestnuts, scored the flat side of each with an X,
and placed them in a tightly sealed foil pack with 1/4 cup of water.
He then placed the packet into our toaster oven which had been preheated to 375 F. The chestnuts took a good 45 minutes to get tender.
I asked Fitbomb how long it took to peel the chestnuts and he responded, “FOREVER!” They look really nice, though, don’t they? It’s a good thing my spouse has a mild, as-yet-undiagnosed case of OCD. My “peeled” chestnuts are completely covered with tough fiber-y bits. His roasted (and clean) chestnuts were definitely tastier than the store-bought pre-cooked ones but I just don’t have the fricking patience to prepare them. It’s nice to have an anal hubby who will do it for me!