Sure, the iconic image of these nuts roasting on an open fire is magical, but we would have preferred it if the next line in the classic Christmas ballad involved a chocolate chestnut torte baking instead of Jack Frost nipping. In fact, we adore almost anything, sweet or savory, in which rich-tasting, low-in-fat chestnuts appear. Here are some of our favorites.
Look for chestnuts with firm, uncracked shells that are heavy for their size.
Store chestnuts in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for two weeks or in the freezer for several months.
Substitute to Save Time
Shelling freshly roasted chestnuts is time-consuming. Fortunately, chestnuts in a can or jar make an acceptable substitute in most recipes.
Check for Sweetness
If a recipe calls for chestnut purée, you can either make it yourself or purchase it from a gourmet grocer. If you opt for the latter, note that some are sweetened and some are not, so make sure you get the right kind for your recipe.
First Courses and Main Dishes
MORE FROM EPICURIOUS.COM:
Recipes & Menus
Epicurious.com's portfolio of dishes for all seasons, cuisines and occasions
The Epicurious Editors' Blog
Food News and Views From All Over
Delicious menu guides for the busy work week
Epicurious Technique Videos
See better approaches to preparing your meals
Assorted galleries featuring pictures and recipes from Epicurious.com