Originally posted by clothier
it's some sort of traditional french thing (paging lleechef to the white courtesy telephone) but I just couldn't eat it.
Smart alec........I didn't hear the white courtesy telephone ringing!!! Uggghhhh!
Yes, chestnuts are used extensively throughout France and Italy. You need to make a small "X" in the shell with a paring knife and then boil them for about 8-10 mins. to get the shell off (or you could just proceed on to roast them in the shell).
When eaten roasted, shelled, I find them dry and mealy and nearly difficult to swallow. However, roasted and chopped and added to a sausage/apple stuffing for Christmas goose they add a wonderful taste and texture.
In France, they like to use them equally as well savory as sweet. In Italy they put chestnuts in everything from soup to ravioli to tortellini.
My favorite chestnut recipe happens to date from the 19th century: Nesselrode Pudding, which is not a pudding at all but a frozen dessert. It was invented by Monsieur Muoy, chef to Count Nesselrode, a Russian. It achieved great celebrity during the Belle Epoque and is mentioned by Proust in his writings.
In essence, it is a chestnut ice cream (based on creme anglaise and whipped cream) laced with raisins, candied cherries and other fruits........a kind of frozen chestnut/candied fruit/ice cream. It is actually quite delicious and very simple to make. I can post a good recipe if anyone is interested........
See, clothier, I CAN answer the white courtesy phone with a legitimate answer!!!