When I think of chestnuts I think of squirrel brains. A peeled chestnut looks just like a little brain. I have an acquaintance who eats squirrel, and he swears that the brain is the best part. I will never know one way or the other.
I bought some Korean chestnuts the other day and spent more time than I wanted roasting and peeling them. Whether boiling or roasting chestnuts, it is necessary to make a cut or two in the outer shell or they will explode and make a big mess. The outer shell comes off easily enough. It’s the inner skin that is so difficult. It can only be coaxed off while the nut is super hot. As soon as it is cool enough to handle it is too late. The skin is stuck like glue unless it is reheated.
I ended up heating the chestnuts one at a time in the microwave oven for 15 seconds. Much longer and the nut would be reduced to crumbs. I found that putting the side with the X cut down allowed the steam stay within the shell longer which enabled the skin release more easily. Most of the time I had to pop it back in for an additional 5 seconds to finish removing the skin. Wearing an “Ove” Glove® on one hand was an indispensable necessity.
I am quite patient when it comes to difficult tasks and I eventually did peel all the chestnuts, albeit over parts of two days. By the end of the task I realized that I don’t like chestnuts enough to embark on this endeavor again.
For our afternoon meal we had roasted chestnuts, sun chokes, parsnips and celery, all of which had been marinated in reduced balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
The roasted veggies and chestnuts were served in a nest of black bean noodles.