Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chestnut Cakes


These are a modern take on the traditional cornmeal chestnut breads that were boiled inside leaves.  Not to say that occasionally there were not a few fried items in deer tallow or bear fat, but these were exceedingly rare!!  (Note:  Dale Carson is Abenaki, the do not eat bear!).  The above photo is an photo of nut cakes, since I don't have a good photo of my own Chestnut Cakes from the past, but...they look a lot like the finished product.  I've always served these as bread, but, in these times, they could easily be served as a main course.  We do Meatless Monday's around my house, so....these could even serve as veggie nut burgers!!  This comes from her wonderfully self-illustrated book Native New England Cooking.  So of the instruction are mine.

1 lb. chestnuts
1/2 small cooking onion
Boiling water
Oil for frying
Salt for coating (optional)

1.  Slash or poke each chestnut and roast them in a 375º oven, shaking and/or stirring from time to time.  Remove from oven and cool.  Peel and then puree the nuts.

2.  Chop the onion, mix in the the chestnut meal and enough cornmeal and boiling water to hold the mixture together.  

3.  Heat oil in heavy skillet.  Make Hamburger sized patties and fry in the hot oil until golden on each side.  Salt lightly after cooking if you like.  The reason for not salting them before cooking is that it will cause the cornmeal to crumble!!  

Good for bread, vegetable, appetizer, entree, you name it!  I like them with warm maple syrup!!  Wado (thank you) Dale!

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