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Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts, Shallots & Bacon


6 ounces chestnuts
3 slices bacon, diced 
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter 
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved 
6 small shallots, quartered 
Kosher salt 
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Using a chestnut knife, cut an X in the cheek of each chestnut. Arrange the chestnuts in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until tender. Let rest for about 5 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle. Peel and dice.

Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy sauté pan over medium-low heat until hot but not smoking. Add the bacon and fry, tossing frequently, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until rendered. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a small bowl. Add the butter to the pan and heat until it melts, bubbles, and the foam subsides. Add the Brussels sprouts, shallots, and chestnuts and toss to coat with the butter. Season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are tender and golden brown. Toss in the bacon, transfer to a bowl, and serve immediately.

Serves 6. Enjoy in the fall, when both Brussels sprouts and chestnuts are in season. Chestnuts are easiest to peel when they're hot. For the best results, be sure not to overcrowd the pan.

Note: Used with permission from



In addition to roasting chestnuts over an open fire, two of our favorite recipes are Basic Chestnut Stuffing and a yummy Chocolate-Chestnut Torte.


Basic Chestnut Stuffing
- From Countryside Magazine, December 1991

1 to 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine (2 or 3 sticks)
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 cups thinly sliced celery
9 cups fine dry bread crumbs, white or whole wheat (about 18 slices)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried savory
3 Tbls chopped fresh parsley
2 pounds boiled chestnuts, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cognac (optional)

Melt butter in a large saucepan; add onions and celery and saute until limp. Place bread crumbs in a large bowl; add onion mixture and mix thoroughly. Add salt, thyme, marjoram, savory and parsley; mix again. Add chestnuts and cognac; mix well. Stuff into cavity of turkey and proceed as usual.
Lightly stuff into cavity of turkey. Roast in 325-degree oven until stuffing reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

Makes enough for a 12 to 15 pound turkey.


Per Serving:

Calories per 1-cup serving: 524 (9% from protein, 63% from carbohydrate, 28% from fat)
Protein: 11.4 grams
Total fat: 16.6 grams
Saturated fat: 8.6 grams
Cholesterol: 33 mg
Sodium: 1,017 mg
Carbohydrate: 81.8 grams
Dietary fiber: 2.6 gram
Exchanges: 5 1/2 vegetable, 3 starch, 3 fat


Chocolate-Chestnut Torte
- From Monique Siu and Kevin Gibson, Castagna Restaurant, Portland, Oregon
The Castagna Restaurant is serving this with a caramel-cognac ice cream.

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
7 oz cooked, peeled chestnuts (see note)
6 Tbls cognac (divided)
4 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar (divided)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
Powdered sugar
Whipped cream or ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt chocolate in double boiler; set aside.
Puree the chestnuts with 4 tablespoons cognac in a food processor until smooth.
Whip the eggs yolks with 3/4 cup of the sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the cognac until pale lemon yellow and the mixture forms a ribbon.
Whip the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, cream of tartar and salt until stiff, but not dry.
Fold the yolk mixture into the chocolate, then fold chestnut puree into the yolk-chocolate mixture, then fold in the egg whites.
Pour into an 8-inch springform pan that has been buttered and floured.
Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

To boil chestnuts, cut an "X" in each chestnut. Place the nuts in boiling water for 15 to 25 minutes or until tender. Chestnuts are done when the shell starts to peel back and the thin brown seed coat between the shell and the meat rubs off easily. If the seed coat sticks, cook the nuts a little longer and try again.


Per Serving:

Calories per 1-cup serving: 262 (7% from protein, 67% from carbohydrate, 25% from fat)
Protein: 5.1 grams
Total fat: 7.7 grams
Saturated fat: 3.8 grams
Cholesterol: 106 mg
Sodium: 34 mg
Carbohydrate: 46 grams
Dietary fiber: 1.1 gram
Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 2 starch, 1/2 meat, 1 fat