Are roasted chestnuts really worth it?
You've heard of roasting chestnuts on an open fire, but have you ever eaten a roasted chestnut?
We spotted 1-pound bags of raw nuts at Trader Joes and were curious to try them. The experiment was fun but we learned the hard way how important it is to cut deeply into the chestnut skin so they are able to pick up seasoning as they cook and can be more easily opened.
It is a lot of effort for what you get. Less ambitious hosts may be better off opening a can of mixed nuts. But if you want to impress your guests, go right ahead.
1 pound chestnuts
1⁄4 cup butter or margarine
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut an “X” or long line in each chestnut. Be sure the cut gets all the way through the chestnut's skin.
Soak scored nuts in a bowl with hot water for 5-10 minutes. This allows them to absorb moisture that will help them steam in the oven. Pat dry.
Combine chestnuts with butter, salt and nutmeg. Place nuts in a single layer on aluminum foil, then fold up the sides to create a pouch. Cook about 30 minutes. Skins should curl away from the nut when they are ready.
Carefully peel chestnuts from their shells. Use a towel or paper towel to hold them if too hot to handle.
Transfer peeled chestnuts back to the foil so they can pick up any leftover butter and seasoning.
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