Seasonal December recipes: A new take on the chestnut

AS DECEMBER recipes go, a fair few involve the traditionally seasonal chestnut. It is perfect for stuffing, roasting and combining into delicious chocolate filled desert recipes, but that’s not the extent of its offerings. Here are a few less traditional chestnut options to spice up your Christmas.

Japanese Chestnut Rice
http://earthydelightsblog.com/

(Serves 1)

This recipe is a take on the Japanese rice dish Kurigohan. It’s very simple, and requires little in the way of cooking know-how. Though few ingredients, the subtle flavours of sake and soy make this dish worth the short while it takes to create. Sake is surprisingly easy to locate in the supermarkets, so in following this recipe, keep your eyes (and chestnuts) peeled.

  • 3 chestnuts
  • ½ cup rice
  • 1 teaspoon of Sake (Japanese Rice Wine)
  • 1 teaspoon of Soy sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sprinkling of sesame seeds
  • Once peeled, slice each chestnut in half.
  • Bring a pan of water to the boil for your rice and add the sake, soy, salt and chestnuts.
  • Garnish with black sesame seeds and serve.
Firstly, score an ‘X’ on the flatter side of your chestnuts and add to a pan of boiling water for five minutes.Remove from heat and drain. It is suggested that the chestnuts are left to steam in a tightly sealed container for 10 minutes until cool enough to handle.

  • After the chestnuts have cooled, begin peeling and removing the inner husk – you’ll realise what this is once you begin peeling. It does not look appetising.
  • Once peeled, slice each chestnut in half.
  • Bring a pan of water to the boil for your rice and add the sake, soy, salt and chestnuts.
  • Garnish with black sesame seeds and serve.

 

Nora May Engeseth

Chestnut Pancakes
http://www.hemsleyandhemsley.com/
(serves 12 pancakes)
Hemsley and Hemsley are the food writers for Vogue, with an emphasis on healthy indulgence – that is a thing and these chestnut breakfast pancakes are a delicious example of this. I didn’t bother with tracking down chestnut flour myself,  instead opting to grate and blend my previously boiled and peeled chestnuts into the pancake batter.

  • 115g (1 cup) chestnut flour or boiled, peeled and grate chestnuts into the flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 250ml (1 cup) water
  • 250ml (1 cup) yogurt (coconut yoghurt suggested)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of orange blossom extract

 

  • Combine flour, eggs, water and whisk until smooth
  • Melt some butter or coconut oil in a frying pan
  • Cover the entirety of the bottom of the pan with mixture, about2 or 3 tablespoons
  • Flip when the underside of the pancake is a golden brown
  • Serving suggestion – plain or coconut yoghurt (I added desiccated coconut to Greek yoghurt) and a drizzle of honey / orange blossom extract (not something you will likely have in your cupboard, I experimented with orange marmalade)

 

Nora May Engeseth