Saturday, May 2, 2009

Food lovers food

Recession food

There is always something about having to work hard  for your dinner, mother nature dictates that she protects her children from the hungry mouths of many  and the chest nut is in defence league of its own.  Those that spend the time enduring the prickles, removing the husk or "burr" will be rewarded with a savoury sweet reward that is unlike many others tastes.   While they have been staple diet in past cultures they are mainly passed on as hard to deal with and not to the taste of the masses – being neither a strong or pronounced flavour they do go well with turkey, quail, mushrooms and bacon in the form of a stuffing or farce or compliment chocolate, vanilla and cream as a sweet delight

One  of the main issues with the chestnut is that it gained a reputation of "food for poor people" as it was a staple part of the diet until the cereals and potato became the crop of choice, however if you wanted to feed a retreating army in the year 401 BC then the Chestnut was considered to be the carbohydrate of choice.

Seasonal fruit and vegetables come and go but there is a real affinity of preparing and roasting or using Chestnuts,  is not for the fainthearted but once you have experienced the real taste of good quality fresh chestnuts then you can see that for a little bit of effort the rewards are well worth it.  Who knows in the time of economic hardship we may just find that the chestnut emerges as the recession hunger buster on the dinner tables of the high flying executives who lost sight of reality on there way up the ladder

APPLE-CHESTNUT MINI-MUFFINS

 1 egg

1/2 C milk

1/4 C Vegetable oil

1 C chestnuts (peeled and chopped roughly)

1 med apple

1 1/2 C wheat flour

1/2 C sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Topping:

1/3 C chestnuts (chopped fine)

1/2 C brown sugar         Heat oven to 180  deg c

 

Prepare 3 mini-muffin tins with non stick spay or butter.  Beat egg, stir in milk, oil, chopped chestnuts, chopped apple.  Beat in remaining ingredients.  Make nutty topping by thoroughly mixing chopped chestnuts and brown sugar.  Set aside.  Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of topping on each.  Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from pan onto a cooling rack  before storing in a airtight container

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