Tuesday, 17 May 2011

How do I cook chestnuts!!!???

Hello everyone!!
We had a good time packing today's boxes last night- the system is becoming ever more streamlined! we are researching alternatives to the somewhat heavy apple crates as boxes- of you have genius brainwaves, 'the perfect box' which is stackable, easy to clean, maybe even a bit waterproof and doesn't take up too much space let us know!
in the meantime if you are finding your box unwieldy, feel free to bring in a bag and transfer your goodies to a more bike friendly container :)

in other news, please renew your order for next month this week! if you need me to send another copy of the order form let me know. You can change from $20 to $40 or vice versa. If you are not planning to continue in the box scheme, let us know ASAP so we can find replacements!
Enjoy the wintery goodness in these recipes, i'm going to bust out our old chestnut roasting spoon and light a fire!!!!
The simplest way to eat chestnuts is to roast, grill or BBQ them. First carefully make a cut through the outer shell to relieve the heat and pressure while cooking. Cook for 25-30 minutes on medium heat, turning after 15 minutes. Remove from heat and wrap in a towel or newspaper for 5 minutes. Remove the shell and the inner skin (pellicle) and they are ready to eat. If after cooking, your chestnuts are hard and dry, they are either too old or overcooked.
Chestnuts can also be eaten boiled after removal of the pellicle. Alternatively, after boiling, they can be cut in half and the nut scooped out of the pellicle with a spoon. Boil for about 20 minutes.
To microwave your chestnuts, cut through the shell of the nuts in an "X" pattern. Cook nuts on High setting for 30 seconds. Cool, peel, eat. Vary cooking time to suit, overcooking will dry the nut and make it rubbery.

Extra Good Roast Winter Vegetables
You can roast just about any vegetables in this way.  Adding the chestnuts makes these veggies a bit more substantial to be served as a main with quinoa, rice, pasta etc.
  • A couple of onions cut into quarters
  • 1 bulb garlic with skins on
  • 2 small zucchinis
  • Some parsnips
  • Quarter of a butternut squash
  • Some beetroots
  • 1 ½ cups peeled, blanched chestnuts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tassie honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plenty of rosemary or thyme

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Chop all your veggies into chunks.
  3. Combine the oil, vinegar, honey, herbs, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl or a jar with a lid like a salad dressing.
  4. Place veggies and chestnuts in a roasting dish and add the dressing, use your hands to make sure all the veggies are coated.
  5. Roast for 1 hour.

Chestnut Hummus:
This is a cool thing to do with your chestnuts. You can eat hummus with just about anything, try it with the pumpkin and beetroot scones!
  • 200g chestnuts, boiled and peeled
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (if you love garlic add as much as you want)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until it is a smooth paste.
  2. Add more oil or a little water if the dip is too dry.
  3. Easy!

Pumpkin and Beetroot scones,
These are yummy vegan scones that you can eat any type of dip, just with some butter. And they are pink!
  • ½ cup raw sugar
  • 3 ½ cups wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup nuttelex
  • 1 ½ cups pureed pumpkin
  • ½ cup pureed beetroot
  • Salt

  1. You will have to boil or steam your vegetables in advance for this, and then puree them either with a masher of food processor. You’ll probably want the pureed veggies to be cool when you are ready to make the scones.
  2. Preheat oven to 210C.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt) in a mixing bowl.
  4. Bit by bit add the cold! margarine and crumble it in with your fingers until it is all combined.
  5. Now add the pureed veggies and mix well.
  6. Roll the dough out to 1 inch.
  7. Use a cookie cutter or a glass or something else round to cut the scones
  8. Place of a baking tray and bake for 15 mins.

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