Chestnuts roasting in your oven
Chestnuts always remind me of my grandfather who used to roast them every year around this time in the Fall. Now that I am old enough to work a stove and a paring knife, I figured it was time to make my own holiday traditions. You can buy whole chestnuts almost anywhere-I got mine at my local grocery store. They sell them loosely in the produce section and they look like they do in the above photo.
To oven roast them, you pre-heat the oven to 425F. You take the chestnuts and with a paring knife, carve a big x on the flat side of the nut. Be careful with this step because you don’t want to slip and cut yourself. The chestnuts can be rather wobbly! Once you have your x’s, scatter the chestnuts on a baking sheet, or a Bubble and Brown if you have one, and stick them in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Once they come out, wrap them in a towel so they can cool down but kind of steam open. When they are warm and not too hot, serve them to your guests. They can peel them open with their hands and eat the nutty and buttery insides.
Personally, I prefer my chestnuts roasted on an open fire, literally. If you can stick them in the hot coals of the grill or the fireplace instead, they will be even better and more evenly cooked. However, you can’t really just stick them in there because you’ll lose them, so you have to find a way to stick them in the grill, for instance, in a high rimmed baking pan that can withstand high heat. Don’t use glass for this project.
Either way, whatever you do will give you a wonderful treat for the holidays and memories for a lifetime.