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Bento Recipe: Roasted or boiled chestnuts


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Roasted chestnuts:

First, get some chestnuts. Select glossy brown ones with no holes; those are likely to have fresh, bug-free flesh. Then cut a cross in the curved side. Cut it fairly large, and deep enough to get through both the shell and the inner lining. Place the nuts on a cookie sheet and roast them in an oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Take them out, let them cool for a few minutes, then put the nuts in a paper bag and squeeze it around just firmly enough to make the shells crackle. (You don't want to squash the nuts, and by now they are squashable.) Let them cool just enough to handle without burning your fingers, then peel the shells and inner lining off. Do not let them get cold; peeling them will be very, very difficult if you do. Even when they're hot peeling them can be tricky - sometimes the shells and linings slip off easily enough, and at other times they just don't want to come off. I've had good luck using a spoon to remove the stubborn parts of the inner lining. With the bowl of the spoon against the nut, slip it between the nut and the lining and peel it off. You may also get a little of the nut, but it's still a lot neater than if you scraped it off with your fingernails.

Boiled chestnuts:

Pretty much as above. Cut a cross in the shells, put them in boiling water for 15 minutes, then take them out and peel them. The taste and texture is, IMO, not that different from roasted chestnuts.

Does anyone know any special ways to make peeling these easier? Contact me, please!