I love Autumn, it is my favourite season.
Its still warm, but not so hot you feel like you’re on fire. Its cool, but not so cold that you feel cold to your bones.
Everything is soft and muted, the sunlight, sounds, it all has a far away quality to it… the sort of quietness that sooths you in the evenings as you sit and watch the world with a cuppa tea on hand.
In Autumn we also get chestnuts, and there is nothing more yummy than chestnuts that have been pressure cooked to tender sweetness.
Pressure cooked you say? I know, its a novel idea… most people are used to roasting them… and while thats all fine n’ dandy, the roasted ones just don’t have the same sweetness and “ease of getting into the thing” to eat.
Cooking them in this manner is actually quite easy, all you need is a pressure cooker, some salt and boiled water…
Fresh raw chestnuts
1 teaspoon of salt
Enough freshly boiled water to cover chestnuts
1. Place the chestnuts inside the pressure cooker pot.
2. Add the teaspoon of salt.
3. Fill pot with boiled water until the water just covers the chestnuts, give the pot a shake to settle the nuts in.
4. Lock the lid of the pressure cooker in place and put it over a medium heat.
5. Once the pressure cooker has released it’s air 4 times (its a highly expressed whoosh of steam from the top knob of the pressure cooker) turn the heat off.
6. Wait 10 minutes then carefully place the pressure cooker under a slow flow of COLD water. Use a long spatula and gently tap the top knob, this releases any gas still inside. Once all the gas is gone, carefully open the lid, making sure to stand well back as hot air will still come out and you don’t want to burn yourself!
7. Enjoy! Hot or cold, its yum.
How to eat a pressure cooked chestnut
1. Take chestnut in hand. Turn it upside down so the pointy end is pointing down. You’ll notice on the blunt end there is a flat side, and a more curved side. Angle the nut so that the flat side is facing you.
2. You’ll also notice that there is a lighter oval of colour on this blunt end. Bite down carefully on the outer edge of the oval (curved side) and gently peel down the flat edge with your teeth.
3. You want to remove the outer hard skin, and the furry inner skin to reveal the creamy flesh underneath.
4. Gently peel away the rest of the skin, or just half of it if the flesh is crumbly, and then eat and enjoy
Never leave the furry stuff on, tastes horrible!
How not to eat a Bad Nut
As with all foods, theres gonna be the bad ones.
1. When you bite into a chestnut and notice it’s quite watery, throw it away.
2. When you bite into a chestnut and notice a strong taste of fuzz or bitterness, throw it away.
3. If the flesh looks darkish brown to grey, definitely definitely, throw it away.
Thus ends the lesson about chestnuts. Hope you learned something new today.