20 October 2005


It's Autumn, when a young (....) woman's fancy turns lightly to thoughts of Autumn foods, like parsnips and turnips and chestnuts. Foods closer to the sage end of the herb/spice/condiment scale than lemon.

I found a couple of good recipes the other day for foods with either chestnuts or parsnips in them and one - Mercy! - for Chestnuts, Brussels Sprouts and Parsnips which for me is a real hat trick, as I love them all. (Note to David, don't worry, the recipe says that there's only 1 gram of saturated fat per serving.)

As I was gloating to Rich about this miracle, he told me about Chestnut Spread, or Creme de Marrons. (Note: My absolute favorite fun fact about the Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston movie The Bodyguard is that her character's name, Rachel Marron, pretty much meant "Brown Brown.")

I found the spread on Amazon and have added it to my wish list because, well, just read: This sweetened puree of chestnuts is delicately flavored with vanilla. It is a wonderful addition to pastries with its nutty richness and creamy texture. Mix chestnut puree into butter cream frostings, fondants, fillings of all types, and cake batters or just eat plain with creme fraiche. Or This sweet and smooth spread is a delicious topping for your morning brioche or your evening ice cream alike. If you have never tried this before, it is like a honey of creamed chestnuts. Even that description does not do it justice.

Rich says he found in the international section at a Safeway once but who do I trust more, Safeway or Amazon?

I have a whole cook book of chestnut recipes and it's time to start stocking up on those spiffy little brown beauties.

And as soon as I find a menu that contains caramel, chestnuts, ginger, parsnips, pine nuts, rosemary, spinach, and turnips, there will be no living with me.


Vig said...

OK - WHOA - Wait a dag on minute: Chestnuts, Brussels Sprouts *and* Parsnips. That's worth experimenting with Chestnuts right thar.

I'll tell you my favorite way to cook Brussels Sprouts in hopes that you will tell me more about the recipe I'm sure God really wants you to give me.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts:
Preheat oven to 450. Lightly oil whole sprouts w/ olive oil. Salt well with some chunky salt. and Roast, turning once, for 30 to 40 minutes. Watch it, but they should get to be a very dark brown. Salt them again when the come out, and eat them like french fries. Chase down the Barefoot Contessa for specifics.

OK. . . you're turn. . . pretty please???

Liza said...

I want that combo recipe too!

And inspired by Vig, I will share my favorite brussels sprout recipe, which even people who think they don't like brussels sprouts like:

Chop up the brussels sprouts so they are closer in texture to chopped raw spinach than "regular" sprouts. In a large frying pan or wok, saute the sprouts at a high heat. Add fresh lemon juice and kosher salt to taste. (Or garlic, if you prefer.)

When they're bright green, which happens pretty quickly, remove them from the heat and serve immediately.

Vig said...

Leta - oh, I'm embarrassed. I've got the chestuts. . . but I can't find the recipe you sent! Is it easy to send again? If not, thanks anyway. There can't be much more to it than putting the things togther. That I can do!


Vig said...

I found it on Foodfit.com!

Nevermind. . .& thanks again!


Vig said...

Leta - Liza's note inspired a recipe. I think you'll enjoy it too. I posted it for you, and for me too so I'd remember it!

All best,