Our advice for cooking chestnuts in two original recipes

Poultry, soup, cream…chestnuts are not only reserved for winter dishes! Raphael Hamont gives us his tips for preparing roasted chestnuts and even in salads.

Raphael Gammon

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How to properly cook chestnuts?
How to properly cook chestnuts? —
Health Mage – France 5


When we think of chestnuts, we think of poultry, bacon bits, mushrooms and chestnut cream. The chestnut is then roasted or caramelized, which works well because it contains carbohydrates (almost 40%) and some protein (in the fruit, but also in the butter that can be added to the recipe). Maillard reactions and caramelization reactions occur under the influence of heat.

Notes of caramelization, grill and roast develop. The molecules that are formed are similar to those found in coffee or chocolate (roasting), to the molecules of grilled meat (the Maillard reaction), and to old spirits aged in barrels (rum, whiskey, brandy).

If you appreciate this particular taste, it is because all these dishes are “good chemistry”.

Pan-fried pears and chestnuts recipe

Based on this similarity of aromatic molecules, roasted chestnuts can be combined with other foods: hazelnuts, truffles, coffee, pears, grilled sesame, bacon, smoked salmon, roasted peanuts… You can think of more.

The original idea of ​​the recipe: pan-roasted pears and chestnuts with coffee.
· Fry the chestnuts in a little fat and add the diced pears.
· When the pears turn brown, deglaze by adding coffee
· Just before serving, sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
· Enjoy a fish or poultry fillet.

The notes of roasted chestnut, coffee, pear and peanut are juicy. And the good news: by cooking half chestnuts, half pears, you almost halve the calories compared to a chestnut dish.

Chestnuts… in a salad

The second flavor profile of chestnuts is less well known than the roasted or grilled chestnut. It is a chestnut, steamed or in a light broth.

Chestnut contains the molecule hexan-1-ol, which is responsible for the freshness, “greenness” of green apple, black currant, cherry, tarragon and even kiwi.

Therefore, it is a very good idea to associate the chestnut, for example, in a salad, finely chopped or even crushed like bulgur, with “green” notes: celery, grapefruit, dill or green apples. Add herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and sesame seeds to really transform salads.

Chestnuts are worth it because cleaning them is a bit tedious anyway. Some advocate “thermal shock”, which consists in freezing them and then placing them in a boiling pan.

Hot peeling is unpleasant, it is better to put them on a kitchen towel to avoid finger burn.

Chestnuts can explode in the microwave. This is not recommended, otherwise you have to cut the skin.

A pressure cooker is good because it creates pressure. At high temperature and pressure, the “large” surface fibers that make up the skin are easily destroyed.

Otherwise, a teaspoon of baking soda in the cooking water may be the solution, as baking soda also works on the fibers to soften the texture. It is suitable for lentils, chickpeas, dried beans … and chestnuts.

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