That time in December passes twice as fast as in any other month is a fundamendal law of physics. This is why I only noticed yesterday that it’s mid December, and my last post was in November! I hope this one makes up for it.
I have always liked the idea of cooking with chestnuts, but it’s so much bother to prepare them that it’s never happened.
I didn’t hesitate at all, therefore, when I spotted a bag of frozen chestnuts in the supermarket. Think it’s cheating? Well, when was the last time you shelled peas?
My husband’s spontaneous purchase of £9 worth of goats’ cheese provided the perfect accompaniment. This can’t be cooked in a hurry, but it’s well worth it!
- 8oz plain flour and 4oz margarine, plus water to mix (or ready made shortcrust pastry if you're feeling lazy)
- 100g Swaledale Goats' Cheese
- 100g Ribblesdale Goats' Cheese
- 2 medium sized red onions
- About 150g frozen chestnuts (a teacup full)
- Dried herbs
- First, chop the red onions into chunks and roast them slowly- I cooked them on 140°C for an hour. Turn occasionally.
- When the onions are half cooked, pour hot water over the chestnuts.
- Now, make your pastry. Place the flour and margarine in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Mix cold water in until it sticks together. If it sticks to your hands, add more flour. If it doesn't stick together, add more water.
- Now put your pastry in the fridge and slice your chestnuts and cheese. When the onions are done, chop them.
- Now, roll out your pastry and place it into a greased flan dish.
- If you want to ensure the pastry case is really crispy, prick it all over and bake it for about ten mintes at around 200°C.
- Spread half the chestnuts out on the bottom of the pastry case, followed by a layer of onion, then a layer of cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Sprinkle your favourite herbs on top, and return it to the oven until the cheese and pastry are starting to brown.
We served this with boiled potatoes, carrots and parsnips and plenty of gravy- and a glass of sherry! It was special enough for a formal meal, but simple enough for party food or a weekend tea. I think it would work well with any crumbly, well flavoured cheese.
I’ll definitely be serving this again- maybe with cranberry chutney on the side …