Sauteed-ChestnutsOf course you can roast them on an open fire, but save some of the season’s chestnuts for these great recipes by Chef Jonathan Dixon.

Sautéed Chestnuts With Brussels Sprouts

Serves 6

12 to 14 ounces roasted and peeled chestnuts (See Note)
11/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 slice bacon (optional)
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey, stirred into 2 to 3 tablespoons warm water
1/4 cup minced parsley (optional)

Heat a large pot of water to boiling. While you wait, cut the chestnuts into medium-thin slices; don’t worry if some of them crumble or break. If using, cut the bacon slice into tiny pieces.
Once the water boils, blanch the Brussels sprouts for five minutes, or until they just start to turn tender. Drain and allow them to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut the sprouts into halves or quarters, depending on size.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over mediumhigh heat; don’t allow it to smoke. When it swirls easily, add the bacon, shallot, and garlic, stirring constantly until the bacon begins browning and the garlic and shallots start to turn golden.
Add the sprouts and chestnut slices. Stir to combine and sauté for two minutes, until the sprouts are tender, stirring frequently. Add the honey-water mixture and cook until the water has evaporated.
Keep stirring to make sure everything is coated. Serve at once, garnished with parsley.

Note: Chestnuts might seem intimidating, but roasting and peeling them is quite simple. Use a paring knife to carefully cut an X into the bottom of each chestnut. Place the nuts cut side down in a pan, pour a 1/8 inch of water into the pan, and roast the chestnuts in an oven preheated to 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool to the point where they can be handled, and simply pinch the nuts free from their shells. If time doesn’t permit this, you can purchase ready-to-use chestnuts frozen or in vacuum-sealed bags.

TD&N Nutrient Analysis: Calories: 252; Total Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 30 mg; Carbohydrates: 47 g; Fiber: 7 g; Protein: 6 g

Chestnut PuréeChestnut-Puree

Makes about 2 cups

12 to 14 ounces roasted and peeled chestnuts
1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutralflavored oil
1 medium leek, white part only, sliced thin
1/2 cup milk, cream, or half and half
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the chestnuts in a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for about 25 minutes, until entirely tender.
Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and then the leek. Sauté until the leek is fully cooked. In another small pan, warm the milk, cream, or half and half.
Drain the chestnuts, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid, and briefly return them to the pot. Let the residual heat evaporate any excess water.
Place the chestnuts in a food processor and pulse until fine. Add the milk, leek, and butter, and pulse again. If needed, add the reserved water in small increments and continue pulsing until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.

TD&N Nutrient Analysis (per tablespoon): Calories: 37; Total Fat: 1 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 1 mg; Sodium: 2 mg; Carbohydrates: 6 g; Fiber: 1 g; Protein: 1 g