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The Center for Agroforestry

Chestnut Recipes

Compiled By Julie Rhoads

Categories:

Preparation Instructions

Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell Using Steaming Method
Instructions developed by Julie Rhoads, University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry

*Refrigerate chestnuts in the plastic bag until ready to use.

The raw chestnut meats can be boiled and used for a wide variety of recipes. Before removing the raw meats from the leathery shells, bring chestnuts to room temperature. Wash chestnuts to remove any dirt. Cut fresh chestnuts still in their shell in half with a hand pruner garden tool. (A hand pruner typically works better, although you can cut them in half with a large, sharp knife.)

The steaming method has been found to be the most effective method for easily separating the shells from the meat. Place cut chestnuts in a collapsible steaming basket placed in a pan with approximately 1/2 inch of water. Bring water to a boil and steam the chestnuts until the meats separate from the shell. The chestnuts will be slightly cooked but still crunchy at this point. You can continue steaming the nuts to reach the desired level of crunchiness or until they are a soft consistency.

Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell Using Microwave Oven
Instructions developed by Ken Hunt, UMCA

Cut fresh chestnuts still in their shell in half with a hand pruner garden tool. (A hand pruner typically works better, although you can cut them in half with a large, sharp knife.) Spread cut chestnuts out in a single layer in a glass pan and cover with a wet paper towel to preserve moisture. Microwave for 60 seconds (correct amount of time for most ovens) and remove from microwave. Overcooking makes it difficult to separate meat from the shell.

Cool slightly. Many of the meats will have separated from the shell and the thin tan-colored pellicle. If none have separated, microwave for 60 more seconds. For those that do not separate completely, squeeze on the edges of the shell and the meat should pop out. The meats are not cooked at this point and further preparation such as steaming, boiling or baking is necessary to make them soft and suitable for using in dishes calling for fresh chestnut meats.

Chestnuts Roasted on an Open Fire
Instructions developed by Ken Hunt and Julie Rhoads, UMCA

Prepare a charcoal fire on your grill. Propane could also be used, but the charcoal gives the nuts an additional smoky flavor. With a knife or a hand pruner garden tool, cut a ¼ inch deep slit on the rounded side of each nut. This will allow the heated moisture to escape from inside the chestnut and will prevent them from exploding when heated on the fire.

Place the cut nuts in a metal pan such as a stainless steel wok or a cast iron skillet and place the pan on the grilling rack. While roasting, turn the nuts frequently with a metal spatula. Roasting the nuts will take about 20 minutes. When cooled the shells will become brittle and will be easy to peel with your fingers.

The nuts can also be roasted on a bonfire by using a long handled metal pan. The nuts will only take about 5-10 minutes to cook over a hot fire or coals and they must be turned frequently to prevent scorching of shells and meat.

Oven Roasted Chestnut Meats
Recipe developed by Julie Rhoads, UMCA

  • Shelled raw chestnut meats
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoned Salt

Prepare desired amount of fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Chestnut Meat from the Shell".

Preheat oven to 250o and move rack to middle of oven. Place shelled chestnut meats in a bowl and drizzle olive oil on them. Coat meats with olive oil and place single layer in a shallow metal pan or cookie sheet. Sprinkle meats with seasoned salt. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until slightly crunchy. Let cool slightly and serve on toothpicks while still warm.

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Appetizers

Coconut Lime Chestnut Wontons
Recipe from Executive Chef Eric Cartwright, University of Missouri

For the cream filling:

  • 1 each 16 ounce can Coco Lopez
  • 1 each 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 ounce Egg yolks, approx. 4-5
  • ¾ cup Key lime juice

For the wontons:

  • 15 each 4"x4" wonton wrappers
  • 1 each Egg, well beaten
  • Coconut lime filling
  • Rehydrated chestnut slices (from the sauce below)
  • ½ cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the ginger dipping sauce:

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Ginger, fresh grated (wrap in a cheesecloth bag)
  • ½ cup Dried chestnut slices
  • ¼ cup Molasses

For the Cream Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 8x8 baking dish with non-stick pan spray.
  2. Mix together all filling ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 12-15 minutes (do not allow any color). Remove and cool. After completely cooled, cover with plastic film, pressing the film onto the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until needed.

Dipping Sauce and Chestnuts:

  1. Combine water, sugar, ginger, and chestnut slices in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Set aside and let stand for 15-20 minutes. Drain, reserving the syrup and chestnut slices (discard the ginger), and cool.
  2. Add the molasses to the ginger syrup and mix.

Preparing the Wontons:

  1. Combine the powdered sugar and 5 spice powder, set aside.
  2. Brush the edges of each wonton with beaten egg. Scoop a tablespoon of filling into each wonton and place 3-4 chestnut slices on top of the filling. Fold the wontons closed to form a triangle and seal the edges.
  3. Heat oil in a fryer to 350F and fry the wontons for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and drain and sprinkle with the powdered sugar mixture.

Chestnut Hummus
Recipe from Executive Chef Eric Cartwright, University of Missouri

  • 1 ½ cup Chestnut meats
  • 1 ½ cup Parsnips, peeled, cut 1"
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ¼ cup Fresh lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp. Butter
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. Tahini
  • t.t. Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh parsley, chopped

  1. Place the chestnuts and parsnips in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until they are very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander, reserving 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid.
  2. Transfer the chestnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Puree along with the reserved cooking liquid, garlic, lemon, butter, olive oil, and cumin until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and cool it to room temperature.
  4. Just before serving, drizzle the tahini over the top and garnish with chopped parsley.

Bacon Wrapped Chestnut Meats
Recipe developed by Julie Rhoads, UMCA

  • Shelled raw chestnut meats
  • Pork or Turkey Bacon

Prepare desired amount of fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Chestnut Meat from the Shell".

Boil shelled chestnut meats in chicken broth or water about 5 minutes or until nuts remain crunchy, drain. Wrap chestnuts in small strips of pork or turkey bacon and secure edges with a toothpick. Place single layer in a shallow metal pan or cookie sheet. Bake at 250o for approximately 20 minutes or until bacon is cooked. Let cool slightly before serving.

Chestnut and Chicken Salad
Recipe developed by Julie Rhoads, UMCA

  • 2 cups shelled raw chestnut meats
  • 1 large can of cooked chicken, drained
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 roasted red pepper from jar, drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Chestnut Meat from the Shell".

Boil shelled chestnut meats in chicken broth or water about 9 minutes or until meats remain slightly crunchy, drain. Let meats cool and then coarsely chop the meats.

Combine meats and other ingredients in a bowl and mix in small amounts of mayonnaise until a creamy but not runny consistency. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve salad as an appetizer spread with crackers or use as sandwich filling.

Chestnut and Spinach Dip
Recipe developed by Julie Rhoads, UMCA

  • 1 1/2 cups shelled raw chestnut meats
  • 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • ¼ cup diced green onion
  • 1 or 2 packages of dried vegetable soup mix
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Chestnut Meat from the Shell".

Boil shelled chestnut meats in chicken broth or water about 9 minutes or until slightly crunchy, drain. Let meats cool and then coarsely chop the meats. Rinse thawed spinach in water and drain thoroughly in a small strainer.

Combine meats and other ingredients in a bowl. Two packages of the vegetable soup mix will make a more seasoned and thicker dip if desired. Refrigerate mixture at least 6 hours to soften the dried vegetables and combine flavors. Serve with crackers and/or pour into a bread bowl.

Chestnut Pesto
Recipe developed by Julie Rhoads, UMCA

  • 1 cup shelled raw chestnut meats
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup olive oil + extra olive oil if needed
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 large clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. ground sea salt or regular salt (use more if needed)

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Chestnut Meat from the Shell".

Boil shelled chestnut meats in chicken broth or water about 9 minutes or until slightly crunchy, drain. Place the olive oil and basil leaves in a food processor and puree until a smooth consistency. Add the chestnut meats, parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt to the processor container and process until the mixture reaches the desired consistency of slightly chunky or smooth. Add additional small amount of olive oil if pesto is too thick and a moister consistency is desired.

For best flavor, refrigerate the pesto in a lidded container for at least 24 hours before using. For a variety of pestos made with Missouri-produced nuts to offer as appetizers, prepare separate batches using toasted pecan meats or black walnut meats. Spread pesto on crackers as an appetizer or mix with alfredo or white sauce for use in a pasta recipe.

Parsnip and Chestnut Hummus
Recipe from Executive Chef Eric Cartwright, University of Missouri

  • 1 ½ cups shelled raw chestnut meats
  • 1 ½ cups parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Place chestnuts and parsnips in medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 Tbsp. cooking liquid. Transfer to food processor and puree along with reserved cooking liquid, garlic, lemon juice, butter, olive oil and cumin until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and cool to room temperature. Before serving, drizzle with tahini and garnish with parsley.

Chestnut and Honey Spread
Recipe adapted from Ken Hunt, UMCA

  • 3 cups shelled raw chestnut meats
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ to ½ cup soft tub margarine
  • 1 tsp. salt

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Cook the shelled chestnut meats in the microwave until soft. Put the meats into a food processor or blender and add margarine, honey and salt. Process ingredients until smooth. May need to add a small amount of water during processing to keep from getting too thick. Serve on crackers as an appetizer or use as a spread for toast or bagels. Store in refrigerator.

Braised Chestnuts and Shiitake Mushrooms
Recipe adapted by Ina Cernusca, University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry

  • 2 lbs. peeled chestnuts (microwaved or steamed)
  • ½ lb. shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Heat a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil, butter and chopped onion. When onions start to brown, deglaze by adding port wine and allowing it to reduce more.

Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add chestnuts, thyme, chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until chestnuts are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid.

Can be served warm or cold.

Chestnut Purée
Recipe adapted from the Michigan Nut Growers Assoc. Cookbook, "The Nut Jar"

  • Shelled raw chestnut meats
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare desire quantity of fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Boil meats in large saucepan in salted water until soft, about 12 minutes, drain. Mash with potato masher or process in blender or food processor. Beat in enough butter and cream to create desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Very good as an accessory to wild game.

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Side Dishes

Jalapeno Chestnut Bread
Recipe from Executive Chef Eric Cartwright, University of Missouri

  • 2/3 cup Chestnut flour
  • 2/3 cup Yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup Unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking powder
  • ½ cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1-2 each Jalapenos, fresh, seeded and minced
  • ½ cup Milk
  • ½ cup Buttermilk
  • 2 each Eggs, large, lightly beaten
  • 2 ounces Butter, unsalted, melted
  • ¼ cup Honey, warmed
  • 1 Tbsp Bacon grease (or non-stick cooking spray)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a 9 inch cast iron skillet in the oven to heat.
  2. In a large bowl combine the chestnut flour, cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and minced jalapenos.
  3. In a second bowl whisk together the milk, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and honey.
  4. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
  5. Remove the preheated iron skillet and season with 1 tablespoon bacon grease. Quickly pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let set for 10 minutes before slicing.

Roasted Chestnut Sausage Dressing
Recipe from Tyler Florence, Food Network

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh sage
  • 1 ½ lbs. loose sweet Italian sausage
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups cubed sourdough bread, crusts removed
  • 1 lb. roasted chestnuts
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg

Preheat oven to 375°F and butter 9x11-inch baking dish.

In a food processor, puree carrot, onion, celery and sage until you have a fine pulp. Set large skillet over medium-high heat and brown sausage in a little olive oil. Once you have a nice brown color and the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove sausage and place in large mixing bowl. Add vegetable pulp to pan and sauté until most of the moisture has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Add to mixing bowl with sausage and also add bread crumbs and chestnuts.

Mix together chicken stock, cream and egg. Pour this wet mixture over dressing mix. Season and fold everything together. Pour out into the roasting dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on top (if it gets too brown before the 30 minutes is up, tent with foil).

Chestnut Loaf
Recipe adapted from the Michigan Nut Growers Assoc. Cookbook, "The Nut Jar"

  • 1½ cups shelled raw chestnut meats, ground
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1½ cups celery, minced
  • 1 cup carrot, finely ground
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup cream or vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Preheat oven to 350°F . Grind chestnuts. Mix all ingredients in bowl and place in greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until nicely browned.

Creamed Chestnuts
Recipe adapted from the Michigan Nut Growers Assoc. Cookbook, "The Nut Jar"

  • 3 cups shelled raw chestnut meats
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1½ cups milk

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Boil the shelled chestnuts in a large saucepan of water for about 12 minutes or until tender, drain and set aside. Melt butter, then whisk in flour and salt. Slowly add milk to the mixture. Stir constantly and simmer over low heat until sauce is thickened and smooth. Cook 3 minutes more, stirring constantly. Add chestnuts. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

Chestnut and Rice Casserole
Recipe developed by Julie Rhoads, UMCA

  • 1 cup shelled raw chestnut meats
  • 2 cups uncooked "Uncle Ben’s" white rice or brown rice
  • 4 cups liquid - canned chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
  • 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (optional) cooked chicken breast, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Casserole Topping:

  • 1/8 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/8 cup parmesan cheese

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell." Boil shelled chestnut meats in liquid of choice about 9 minutes or until slightly crunchy, drain cooking liquid into a 2-quart glass microwave dish. Let meats cool and then coarsely chop. Rinse thawed spinach in water and drain thoroughly in a small strainer.

Combine rice and olive oil with liquid in glass dish. Cook at full power in microwave for about 15 minutes. There will probably be some extra liquid after cooking rice, do not discard. Add spinach, chestnuts and cheddar cheese to the rice and liquid. Add diced chicken, if desired. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle on top. Bake uncovered in oven at 350o for 30-45 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

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Main Courses

Carolina Chestnut Pork
Recipe from Executive Chef Eric Cartwright, University of Missouri

For the Pork:

  • 1 each Bone-in Boston Butt, approx. 8 pounds
  • 3 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp Ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp Catsup
  • 6 Tbsp Water
  • ½ cup Chestnut meat, well roasted
  • 2 ½ tsp Sugar
  • ¾ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp Crushed red pepper

  1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours so the flavors can blend.
  2. Season pork on all sides with salt and pepper. Prepare a smoker or charcoal grill for low temperature (220-245 degrees F) cooking. Place the seasoned pork on the smoker or grill and add wood chips and/or chestnut shells to the coals. Slow cook for 8-10 hours or until the meat has reached 195F internal temperature and has begun pulling away from the bone.
  3. Remove the pork from the grill, wrap in foil and let rest for 30 minutes. Pull the meat from the bone into coarse pieces, removing any large pieces of fat (leave some fat to retain moisture). Roughly chop the pork and mix in half of the prepared sauce. Serve additional sauce on the side.

Salmon and Rice with Chestnuts
Recipe from Allen Creek Farms, http://www.chestnutsonline.com

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 salmon steaks
  • 2 Tbsp. butter

Chestnut garnish:

  • 1 lb. fresh chestnuts (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Chestnut garnish: Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a skillet and add the chopped chestnuts and brown sugar. Saute until nuts are golden.

Rice: Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add rice, cover and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes. When done, add half the chestnut garnish and stir well. Top with a bit of chopped parsley.

Salmon: Melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter and brush lightly on both sides of each salmon steak. Grill until done. (Time varies depending on the thickness of the steaks - typically about 10 min.) Top with half of chestnut garnish.

Baby Back Ribs with Tequila, Orange, Molasses, Chestnut Glaze
Recipe developed by Executive Chef Craig Cyr, The Wine Cellar & Bistro, Columbia, Mo.

  • 1 slab baby back ribs
  • Spice blend: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried rosemary, salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 qt. chicken broth

Season ribs with spice, marinate for 1 hour. Place in oven-proof pan with chicken stock and wrap with aluminum foil. Place in oven at 250 degree for approximately 2 hours until fall-apart tender. Top ribs with glaze before serving.

For glaze:

  • ½ onion, diced small
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Serrano pepper or crushed dried red pepper
  • ½ cup tequila
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • canola oil for sauté
  • 1 cup chestnut puree

In saucepan, sauté onion and garlic with Serrano peppers until tender. Add tequila, then flame and burn off alcohol. Add remaining ingredients and simmer to a spoon-coating glaze.

Chestnut Stuffed Quail
Recipe developed by Chef Peio Aramburu, Trattoria Strada Nova, Columbia, Mo.

  • 1 cup spinach
  • ½ cup cooked, peeled chestnuts
  • ¼ cup dried apricots
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • 2-4 small quail
  • assorted vegetables: artichokes, potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips and chestnuts
  • olive oil for roasting
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Work the spinach, peeled chestnuts, apricot, goat cheese and salt and pepper with your hands until smooth. Stuff the quail and sear in olive oil, breast side down, until golden brown. Place quail breast side up in 400 degree oven and bake for 7 minutes.

Vegetable bed: Brush vegetables with olive oil and roast until tender. Place stuffed quail on top of vegetables. Deglaze searing pan with red wine and use as a sauce.

Chestnut and Goat Cheese Ravioli
Recipe from Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com/

  • 1 cup roasted chestnuts, shelled and skinned
  • 1 tart apple
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • butter, as needed

For shelling and roasting chestnuts: Cut chestnuts in half with large scissors and roast at 350° until meat of chestnut becomes loose from skin. Take from oven and remove chestnut meat from skin.

For filling: In sauté pan, heat with butter and sauté onion, garlic and apples until tender. Remove from heat and cool. Mix together egg and all cheeses. In a food processor, purée chestnuts and cheeses until smooth, then fold in apples and onion mixture. Add small amounts of water to adjust consistency if too dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to stuff ravioli

For pasta:

  • 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 12 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • egg wash

Mound flour in bowl or on a smooth surface and create a well in the center. Pour egg yolks, egg, oil and milk in well. Using fingers, incorporate very slowly. Form into ball and knead several times (should be flaky but still hold together). Knead for 15 minutes, double-wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate and let rest for 30 minutes.

Divide and run pasta through pasta machine starting on largest setting and work your way down to second smallest setting. Once you have several strips of pasta, lay pieces out on lightly floured surface and brush with egg wash. Mark circles with 2-inch cookie cutter, leaving ½ inch between each circle for every other strip of pasta. Add 1 Tbsp. of filling in each circle. Lay unmarked strips of pasta gently on top and push down between mounds to remove bubbles. Using cookie cutter with fluted edges, cut out each ravioli. Cook in lightly boiling water for five to six minutes, then drain. Cook immediately or freeze for later use.

Red Chili with Chestnuts
Recipe developed by Julie Rhoads, University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry

  • 4 cups unshelled raw chestnuts
  • 2 lbs. ground round meat
  • 2 cups onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups green pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 or more cups chestnut meat, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups tomato juice (or more to adjust consistency)
  • 2 cans Campbell’s double strength bouillon
  • 2 cans Brooks Mild Chili Beans, or equivalent red, black or kidney beans
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pkg. Williams chili seasoning (2 lbs. meat size)
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell." After removing from shells, coarsely chop chestnut meat. Microwave chopped chestnut meats an additional amount of time until slightly crunchy.

Using a large skillet, cook ground round on medium high heat until no longer pink. Remove skillet from heat and drain fat. Return skillet to stovetop and brown cooked meat on high heat. When meat is browned, turn heat down to medium and add chopped onion and garlic to the skillet. Mix thoroughly. Cook meat mixture on medium heat until onion and garlic are soft. Transfer mixture to a large pot.

Microwave chopped celery in a glass dish until slightly crunchy and do the same with chopped green pepper. Add celery, green pepper and chestnut meat to meat mixture.

Add all of the other ingredients to meat and vegetable mixture and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until celery, green pepper and chestnuts are thoroughly cooked.

The chili will be more flavorful if chilled for 24 hours before serving.

This recipe makes about 6 quarts of chili and can easily be cut in half.

Chestnut and Honey Corn Bread
Recipe adapted from the http://www.epicurious.com Web site

  • 1 cup shelled raw chestnut meats
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp. coarse salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp. (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Boil shelled chestnut meats in water about 9 minutes or until slightly crunchy, drain. Cool nuts and coarsely chop.

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter, honey and brown sugar in large bowl until pale. Add yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in chopped chestnuts and thyme. Mix in dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, in three additions each. Using electric mixer fitted with clean dry beaters, beat whites in another large bowl to medium-stiff peaks. Fold whites into batter.

Pour batter into prepared dish. Bake until top is golden and slightly puffed, about 50 minutes. Cool corn bread in dish on rack 10 minutes. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made one day ahead.) Cool completely. Wrap in foil and let stand at room temperature. Serve with extra honey, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

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Soups

Chestnut Soup with Fresh Ginger
Recipe adapted from AOL House & Home Web site

  • 3 cups shelled raw chestnut meats
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 leek, bottom 1/3 only, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh gingerroot, peeled and grated
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Heat butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and leek, and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is light, golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Add broth, shelled chestnuts and ginger. Bring soup to a full boil, then immediately reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring from time to time, until all ingredients are very tender, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Puree soup using food processor or blender. Return soup to medium heat, add orange juice and simmer for 2 minutes. Warm the cream over low heat or in microwave, then add to the soup. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and orange juice, if necessary. Serve at once in individual bowls. Makes 6 servings.

Chestnut and Smoked Ham Creamy Soup
Recipe from http://www.soupsong.com Web site

  • 4 cups shelled raw chestnut meats
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ lb. smoked ham or turkey, cut into small strips
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 leeks, white part only, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups half and half or whipping cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Boil chestnut meats in water about 9 minutes or until slightly crunchy, drain. Cool nuts, finely chop, and set aside.

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat, then sauté ham, parsnips, carrots, apples and leeks, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Mix in chopped chestnuts and paprika, then add stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, beat egg yolks into half and half or cream, then whisk into soup. Stir until soup thickens, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at once in individual bowls. Sprinkle with more Hungarian paprika if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Chestnut Bisque
Recipe from Allen Creek Farms, http://www.chestnutsonline.com

  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or canola oil
  • 1 lb. fresh chestnuts
  • 3 cups chicken bouillon
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp. dried tarragon
  • Nonfat sour cream or yogurt, optional

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and celery, and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. Add chestnuts and continue cooking 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add apple juice, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes. Add tarragon and continue cooking 5 minutes. Puree soup in a blender. Return to saucepan and reheat. Adjust seasonings as needed. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Serves 4.

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Desserts

Chestnut Hot Chocolate
Recipe adapted by Ken Hunt, UMCA

  • 8 oz. Hershey’s Semi-sweet chocolate
  • 8 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • ½ gallon whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup shelled and chopped raw chestnut meats

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Melt chocolate over low heat in saucepan, stir in cream and blend smooth. Heat milk in second saucepan, but don’t bring to a boil. Keep stirred so it does not stick to the pan. Add chestnut meats and sugar.

Bring slowly to a boil over 30-minute period. (It will take about 30 minutes for the chestnuts to be tender and absorb the flavors.) Add the egg yolks, stir well and remove pan from heat.

Add chocolate and cream mixture to mixture with chestnuts in a blender. Add vanilla. Blend until smooth and reheat if needed. If desired, add a sprinkle of ground Chipotle pepper (hot spice) or nutmeg and tablespoon of whipped cream to the top of a poured mug.

Chestnut Souffle
Recipe developed by Chef Peio Aramburu, Trattoria Strada Nova, Columbia, Mo.

  • 1 cup unsweetened chestnut puree
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 Tbsp. brandy
  • 4 egg whites
  • Unsweetened whipped cream

In a small mixer bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes, set aside.

In a small mixer bowl, beat the puree, sugar, milk and brandy until smooth. Beat in egg yolks until well combined. Wash beaters thoroughly.

In a large mixer bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the beaten whites into the chestnut mixture. Turn into ungreased 1 ½ qt. soufflé dish. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately. Top with unsweetened whipped cream. Makes 4 servings.

Chestnuts and Apples with Sage
Recipe adapted from "Cooking with Herbs" by Susan Belsinger and Carolyn Dille

  • 4 cups shelled raw chestnut meats
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
  • 6 large, fresh sages leaves
  • salt to taste

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Put chestnuts in 1-quart saucepan and add the milk. Cook over very low heat for about 20 minutes, until just tender; drain and chop coarsely. Sauté celery and onion in butter over moderate heat. Add chestnuts and apple to pan.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Mince sage leaves and stir into pan. Salt mixture lightly and cook for about 10 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.

Chestnut Pudding
Recipe adapted from the Michigan Nut Growers Assoc. Cookbook, "The Nut Jar"

  • 4 cups shelled raw chestnut meats
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 oz. rum
  • 1 tsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Currant jelly (or other type of berry jelly)

Prepare fresh chestnuts according to the instructions for "Removing Raw Chestnut Meats from the Shell."

Boil shelled chestnuts for 15 minutes or until very tender, drain. While still hot, process until smooth in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a bowl. Add vanilla, rum and powdered sugar; mix well and chill thoroughly.

Whip cream in cold bowl with hand mixer until stiff and gradually add orange juice. Now add chestnut mixture and beat all together thoroughly. Return to refrigerator until cold and serve with a tsp. of jelly over top.

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Revised: January 05 2011
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