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Leftover Roasted Chestnuts- Creative Uses?

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Hi all, so I overbought roasted chestnuts for Thanksgiving, and am trying to think of creative culinary uses for them with everyday meals... does anyone have any uses for them outside of use with Turkey? I was thinking I could grind them up and make them a part of a pan sauce with meats, or even as a surprise ingredient in a sauce with salmon. Any ideas anyone has would be great! Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have...

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  1. Was pondering this myself recently since I tend to either just snack on them 'til they're gone or chop them chunkily and add them to whatever sauteed vegetable I'm preparing. I discovered, but haven't yet tried it, that RLB has a recipe for a chestnut puree in "The Cake Bible" that is used to make a chestnut buttercream. That just sounds heavenly to me, but I need an excuse to make it. Perhaps you have one? Chestnut buttercream with chocolate cupcakes or a spice cake?

    7 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      JoanN; Chestnut buttercream icing? First, I need that recipe, and second, I think I just gained five pounds thinking about it! I am very conservative with desserts, and I think it would taste incredible on top of a pound cake based dessert. I was kind of thinking savory, but sweet sounds exceptionally good now that you bring it up...

      1. re: ideabaker

        Chestnut Puree

        1 pound 2 ounces (about 36) chestnuts
        (Note that recipe calls for the chestnuts to be unpeeled and not roasted; you’ll have to adjust. If yours are already soft, you may not have to cook them at all. Just skip right to the processing.)
        1 cup milk

        Combine peeled chestnuts and milk and simmer until chestnuts can be pierced easily with a sharp knife. Cool and drain, reserving milk. Puree chestnuts in a food processor adding milk if puree is very stiff. Put through a food mill or strainer for a silkier puree or to remove any bits of skin or hardened bits.

        Buttercream

        Blend together 1 cup chestnut puree; 2/3 cup powdered sugar; 1 cup softened, unsalted butter; and 1 scant tablespoon dark rum.

        RLB says this buttercream is elastic enough for piping and, since it has no egg, has a longer shelf life than most.

        Let me know if you give it a go. I have no good excuse for having anything like this in the house for at least a couple of weeks.

        1. re: JoanN

          Yes, I will need a special event for making this, but it sounds heavenly. Buttercream icing is the only icing I eat because it isn't too sweet, and the depth the chestnuts must add must be amazing. On what kind of cake do you use your icing?

          1. re: ideabaker

            A couple of things:

            First, I haven’t tried it yet. I was just researching how to use up my leftover chestnuts, as were you. But I was thinking that if I did make it I would probably like it with something dense, chocolaty, and perhaps a bit spicy.

            Second, the recipe I posted was for a quick and easy chestnut buttercream. If you already have a favorite buttercream recipe, you might prefer this instead: Add 1/3 cup of powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of dark rum to 1 cup chestnut puree and process until smooth. Add this in a ratio of about 1/3 puree, 2/3 buttercream to your favorite buttercream recipe.

      2. re: JoanN

        Use it on a buche de Noel. Or just eat it with a spoon. Either way it's wicked awesome.

        1. re: rockycat

          A bouche de Noel is a super idea! Never made one since it's not a holiday I celebrate, but I always thought it would be fun to try anyway. Maybe one day I'll find an excuse and I'll definitely keep that in mind.

          1. re: JoanN

            I don't do X-mas either, but I love using it as an excuse to make treats for my friends and neighbors who do. I made a bouche last year for a neighbor whose Frenchified SIL (born in good ol' Hickory, NC) and her very elitist French husband just moved to NC. I did the meringue mushrooms, the snowfall effect, the whole nine yards. Had a blast making it and it helped make my friend look good in front of the family. Like maybe we're not all a bunch of in-bred, moonshine-swillin' hayseed yokels...at least not in public.

      3. I really love them alone as a snack (low fat, high fiber), but you could also throw them in salads, I'm thinking a bitter green like spinach or arugula.

        I tried this cake a while back and it was really good, more of a plain homestyle cake than anything fancy: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        You could do a chestnut soup... personally I don't care for sweetish soups, but it would be along the same lines as, say, butternut squash soup. You could even blend the two.

        There are a lot of recipes on Epicurious pairing chestnuts with Brussels sprouts, although for my money I'd roast the sprouts rather than boiling them.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Cicely

          Don't know why but I'm having a hard time envisioning chestnuts with cooked veggies (i.e. Brussels Sprouts). Love my Brussels Sprouts roasted, but would the already roasted chestnuts fall apart when re-roasted with the Brussels Sprouts?

          1. re: ideabaker

            Chestnuts with Brussels sprouts has been on every Thanksgiving table since I started cooking the meal more than 15 years ago. Although I love roasted Brussels sprouts, for this I buy the really small Brussels sprouts; sautée them whole in artery-clogging amounts of butter with nothing more than salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar until just barely tender; add coarsely chopped chestnuts; and cook just until heated through.

            I always buy the French chestnuts in a jar. I know many people think they’re lacking in good chestnut flavor, but I like them and I’m just too damn lazy to peel my own.

            1. re: JoanN

              I do this too, but also add pancetta and a dash of marsala wine to make a delicious syrupy goodness to coat the brussel sprouts in. I think it is a Nigella method?

              Just had it tonight, in fact. Yuuumy.

          2. re: Cicely

            I made this Epicurious chestnut - brussels sprout recipe recently and it was eally good. I substituted chicken broth for the water.

            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          3. I have a lentil soup recipe with roasted chestnuts I like. It's an Italian recipe I think and it has some white wine, some prosciutto (I use bacon), some basil, a little tomato paste and the roasted chestnuts. It's a very homey recipe but the chestnuts are a real treat in it. Take it over the top. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.

            1 Reply
            1. re: karykat

              I do love lentil soup. Have fallen into a rut with a wonderful Greek-style recipe for lentil soup that I mastered twenty years ago... do tell about your recipe when you have time!

            2. Try this recipe for bulgur pilaf with chestnuts. It's a great side dish, yet it's hearty enough for a vegetarian main course. I buy pre-roasted chestnuts in a foil package at the Chinese market just so I can make this dish.

              http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/din...

              3 Replies
              1. re: Missyme

                Missyme, I've never worked with Bulgur before (hangs head in shame...) . At the risk of sounding idiotic... would Orzo or Couscous work just as well? Maybe the Couscous (I use whole wheat) would be too light... but perhaps the whole wheat Orzo? What are your thoughts?

                1. re: ideabaker

                  Ideabaker, I think that the couscous would better than orzo in this recipe. The dish is more grainy-y than rice-y. Bulgur is rather light, has a similar texture to couscous, and is also made of wheat, which makes me think it would be the better choice. Give it a try, and let us know the result. And do try bulgur sometime when you get the chance--I think you'll like it.

                  1. re: Missyme

                    Well, couscous would be wonderful, mostly because it is so easy to cook. Plus I have a lot of whole wheat couscous in the cupboard. Will try that, AND the bulgur when I can get my hands on it, later. Nursing a cold right now (while cooking for NYE), so will have to do the bulgur at another time. Thanks so much for the recipe!

              2. Make glazed chestnuts with haricots verts but leave out the haricots verts. I made this and couldn't stop eating the glazed chestnuts.

                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                1 Reply
                1. re: chowser

                  Chowser, this recipe is so good, I might just leave out the chestnuts AND the haricots verts!

                2. I can't seem to locate the exact cookie recipe. This one involved creating a puree from the chestnuts and rolling them into 1/2 tsp. balls. Then the chestnuts balls were placed inside softbread cookie dough and baked off per the cookie recipe. The puree added a wonderful flavor to the cookie.

                  1. A couple ideas: mashed (like taters!), sauteed (to add to various concoctions of all kinds), stuffing for winter squash, as a pizza topping (really!), as a stir fry ingredient and all kinds of other stuff. Of course, freshly roasted and peeled they're great just to eat "as is".

                    Also, I sometimes grind them into "flour" or meal to add to baked goods... cookies and breads are two good candidates and, I like to replace about a third or so of the corn meal in my cornbread recipe with the chestnut meal - this has gotten numerous raves.

                    Experiment and Enjoy... and prepare them when freshest for their full charm. After roasting and peeling, freeze what you don't use right away. Because of their limited seasonal availabiIity, I like to always have a sizable "stash" on hand in my freezer.

                    My forthcoming "ThirdStone Cook Book" will have a host of other interesting ways to use these little gems.

                    By the way, chestnuts are very low fat and healthy too. And this time of year you may still be able to find the nice large European (often from Italy) ones for a bit longer.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: thitdstone

                      Thitdstone... I absolutely love the idea of the stuffed squash. I imagine the tastes would completely compliment one another... two questions, how do you grind them (can I just use my potato masher?), and do you add butter/nutmeg/something else to season.

                      The putting them into cornbread is also brilliant. Again, can I just mash them up, or do I need to use an actual grinder??? Thanks for your post!

                      1. re: thitdstone

                        I have seen them used for stuffing.
                        I have been eyeing the following recipes and will provide the link below.
                        Baked Chestnut Pudding
                        Chestnut Mount Blanc
                        Candied Chestnuts (marrons glaces)
                        Chestnuts under Rum (preserved)
                        Chestnut Marmalade
                        Castagnaccio (Cake)
                        Chestnut Flour Fritters

                        http://italophiles.com/castagne.htm#C...

                        1. re: itryalot

                          Oh, Itryalot, thanks so much for your suggestions and the link! Happy New Year!