The Veg Plot

Hot nuts – how to roast the perfect chestnut

It’s December, and we Thirsty Gardeners are feeling less than Christmassy. In an attempt to counter the disappointment of this mornings sub standard advent calendar chocolate, we’re going to deal ourselves in with some tasty hot chestnuts.

For those of us not fortunate to own an open fire like what Nat drones on about year after year after year, here’s four ways to cook them in the kitchen.

Important info!
Remember to pierce or slit your nuts to prevent spectacular explosions during cooking.
The best way is to lie the nut on its flat side, then make a cut halfway around the outer shell, taking care not to cut into the flesh.
The slit will also make peeling easier when your nuts have cooled.

Toss your nuts into a  pan or skillet on high heat with no oil.  Shake them during roasting, and when the skins go black and start to crack, pull them out and leave to cool before peeling.

Preheat oven to 200 C.  Place nuts on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.

Beware! There’s a severe risk of nut explosion using this method, so unless you want to stir memories of the Blitz for grandad, go easy and check your nuts at regular intervals.
Place your nuts on a microwavable plate, then cook uncovered. For an 850 watt oven, aim for 2-3 minutes.

Place your nuts in a pan of water, bring them to a boil then cover and simmer for about 12 minutes.

Enjoy your nuts with a dash of salt and a nice mug of mulled cider.

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