One Beer Bread at a Time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

chestnuts roasting on an open fire...

Guess what I am snacking on???

Yep I made chestnuts--but not on an open fire, I made them in a stoneware pan in the oven 400 degrees for 22 minutes.

Facts about chestnuts:

Chestnuts are a delicious health food rich in nutrition. Just a handful of other foods can match the nutritional value of a chestnut.Unfortunately, very few consumers are aware of this. As opposed to most other nuts, chestnuts have a high water content and very little oil, thus making them virtually fat free. They are high in complex carbohydrates, contain high quality protein comparable to eggs, are gluten free, cholesterol free, and are very low in fat (1-2% while other nuts can be over 50% fat). Nutritionally, they are similar to brown rice and have been described as a grain that grows on a tree. Interestingly enough, they have as much ascorbic acid as an equal weight of lemons and are the only nuts approved by the Pritikin System. Listed below are some other interesting facts revealing the high nutritional value of chestnuts.

A delicious sounding recipe that I won't be making today because my left shoulder is killing me. I think I have tendonitis or something...Also let's face it, this recipe has too many ingredients and steps!

Roasted Chestnut Soup with Dumplings
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2000
The Essence of Emeril
Christmas Show

1 1/2 pounds fresh chestnuts,

roasted and peeled (or 2 (10-ounce) cans whole chestnuts, drained)

1 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon garlic

2 bay leaves

1 large Idaho potato,

peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)

2 quarts light chicken stock

1 sprig thyme

1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil

1/2 lemon, juiced

Dash Worcestershire sauce

1 cup warmed heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a saucepan combine chestnuts, onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, potato and chicken stock and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. In a blender, puree the soup in batches along with fresh herbs, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the Dumplings:

1/4 pound ground pork

1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped green onions

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon quatre d'epices

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 wonton wrappers
In the bowl of a food processor combine pork, garlic, green onions and parsley and process until smooth. Add the Worcestershire, egg yolk, heavy cream, crushed red pepper, quatre d'epices and salt and pepper and pulse until thoroughly combined. To assemble dumplings, use a spoon to place a tablespoon-sized dollop of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Use your fingers to wet the edges of the wrapper, then fold in half, easing edges so that they meet to form a triangle. Press firmly to seal dumplings. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook dumplings in small batches so as not to crowd. Dumplings are done when they float and wrappers are tender and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve dumplings floating in hot chestnut soup.

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