I got a little bit excited when I went to the market on Monday because chestnuts were being sold in abundance. When I see chestnuts being sold I always think of Christmas. Chestnuts roasted over a fire, served with a little butter is my idea of heaven. Chestnuts add a creamy sweetness to dishes making a very pleasant addition.
They do require a little bit of effort in their preparation, however it is worth taking the time and effort. Below is a brief description of how I prepare my chestnuts before using them in a range of other dishes.
Preparation of Chestnuts:
- Cut the chestnuts in half using a sharp knife (be careful as they can be fairly tough and the knife can slip). Discard any that are discoloured in the middle.
- Place the chestnuts in a pan of boiling water and a little salt.
- Bring back up to the up to the boil and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Drain the water off and then wash the chestnuts in cold water.
- With any luck the chestnuts will have popped out of their shells however, if they haven’t, peel the shells off and use a knife to get rid of any of the husk.
- Place the chestnuts in cold water until you need them.
The recipe below uses a number of seasonal ingredients which means the quiche is packed full of flavour. The only sadness I had when making the quiche was the colour of the eggs. Sadly our chickens are off-lay as they are moulting at the moment, consequently we had to use shop bought eggs instead, which I always find a little bit disappointing as they are just not the same…
Seasonal quiche with chestnuts
- 1 packet of pre-rolled puff pastry
- 100g lardons
- 12-15 chestnuts (prepared as above)
- ½ a sweet bell pepper (finely sliced)
- 1 mushroom (diced)
- 1 baby/small leek (finely sliced)
- 1tsp thyme
- 4 eggs
- 100ml milk
- 1 heaped tbsp crème fraiche
- hard cheese (for grating over the quiche)
1. Preheat oven to 190C fan.
2. Place the lardons and thyme in a frying pan with a little oil and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the leeks, peppers, mushrooms and chestnuts to the pan, stir together and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
4. Whisk the eggs, milk, crème fraiche and seasoning together in a bowl.
5. Place the pastry in a flan dish, spoon over the bacon and vegetables, pour over the egg mix, then grate over some cheese.
6. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
7. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before eating.