Appetizers

We just love to snack on chestnuts at the end of the day with a glass of red wine. Then when Linda found that her cholesterol had dropped by .5 after 12 months of snacking on chestnuts it became the go to food for our family. These are a selection of recipes that we created to suit our sugar free and gluten free diet.

Chestnuts and Red Wine Pate
Chestnuts with Chilli
Chestnuts with Garlic and Rosemary
Chestnuts with Sea Salt and Lemon
Spicy Butter Roasted Chestnuts
Vegan maple cinnamon chilli chestnuts

Chestnut and red wine pâté

INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
150ml red wine
150ml home made vegetable stock
100g chopped steamed chestnuts (cooked weight)
100g chestnut purée
75g gluten free breadcrumbs
1 tbsp brandy
2-3 tsp soy sauce or Tamari
salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, gently cook the onion and garlic with the dried thyme until soft.
  2. Add the red wine and vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chestnuts, chestnut purée, breadcrumbs, brandy and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cook over a gentle heat until thickened. Spoon the pate into individual ramekins, smooth the surface and then chill in the refrigerator until required.
  5. Serve garnished with fresh herbs, gluten free crackers and fresh green salad leaves.

Steamed chestnuts as a snack with a glass of red wine
VARIATION ONE: WITH CHILLI
500gm peeled chestnuts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 level teaspoon of chilli powder or one freshly diced long red chilli (or you could use Cayenne Pepper instead)

Steam chestnuts for 15 minutes or until cooked. Toss the warm chestnuts with oil, salt and chilli (or Cayenne) and serve.

VARIATION TWO: WITH GARLIC AND ROSEMARY
500gm peeled chestnuts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced
2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

Steam chestnuts for 15 minutes or until cooked. Toss the warm chestnuts with oil, salt and garlic and rosemary and serve.

VARIATION THREE: WITH SEA SALT AND LEMON JUICE
500gm peeled chestnuts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon freshly squeezed.

Steam chestnuts for 15 minutes or until cooked. Toss the warm chestnuts with oil, salt and lemon juice and serve.

Spicy Butter Roasted Chestnuts
Perfect nibble at Christmas.
Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins Total: 50 mins

INGREDIENTS:
• 500 grams /1lb fresh chestnuts
• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
• Pinch ground cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 220C / 425F.
  2. Using a sharp knife score an X on the rounded top of the chestnuts. Cutting through the shell but not into the flesh of the nut.
  3. Once you have cut all the nuts soak them in a bowl of hot water for 2 minutes.
  4. Lay out a large piece of foil onto a rimmed baking sheet. Gather up the edges to make a little wall.
  5. Place the chestnuts (flat side down, X side up) inside the foil. Try not to overlap.
  6. Add melted butter and spices in a bowl and mix to combine.
  7. Pour over chestnuts and roast for about 30 minutes until the shells are curved back and the meaty flesh is exposed.
  8. Peel while still warm and dip in butter sauce.

Vegan maple cinnamon chilli chestnuts
Adapted from:
http://www.veganfoodandliving.com/maple-cinnamon-chilli-chestnuts/
Serves: 2-4
Prep time: 1-2 minutes | Cooking time: 6-8 minutes

INGREDIENTS
• 350g whole ready-to-eat chestnuts
• 2 tbsp sesame oil
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
• ¼ tsp mild chilli powder
• 3 tbsp maple syrup
• Stevia to taste
• ¼ fresh red chilli, thinly sliced, to garnish

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan or wok. Pour in the chestnuts and fry on a medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are browned and a little crisp.
  2. Add the spices and cook for another minute, then add the maple syrup and stevia to taste and cook for another two minutes or so, until the sauce is thick and sticky.
  3. Garnish with the chilli slices and serve immediately.