Thursday, 8 December 2011

Chestnut Stuffing GF SCD

I started making my chestnut stuffing a few weeks before Christmas a couple of years ago. Prior to that I was always very anxious in the days coming up to Christmas that I wouldn't be able to find the chestnuts and parsley, they always seemed to become extremely scarce. So now I make and freeze it a couple of weeks before Christmas Day. Then all I have to do is remember to take it out of the freezer on Christmas Eve and leave it in the fridge overnight to defrost.

This recipe is adapted from my Grandma's recipe which we have enjoyed every Christmas. She wrote it out for me but it's not very precise, for example it states "parsley, a lot". It makes 3 small freezer trays of stuffing, plenty for 8 people.

Chestnut Stuffing GF SCD

1200g chestnuts
4 or more tblsps almond milk or yogurt
1 tblsp honey (or 2 tsps unrefined sugar - not SCD)
30 - 40g parsley or more, chopped (at least a heaped cup after chopping)
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash the chestnuts.

There are a few ways of removing chestnuts from their skin and shells but this is the way I've always done it. Using a sharp knife, slit the shell of the chestnuts lengthways until you hear them crack.

Place in a large pan and cover with water.

Bring to the boil then simmer for about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon drain a few of the chestnuts.

The chestnuts are quite hot so be careful! Either squeeze out the chestnuts from their skins or spoon out using a teaspoon. I find that sometimes they come out easily and other times they break up as you are doing it. Try to get the white flesh out without the inner skin. Put the shelled chestnuts into a clean pan.

Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes until the water has gone but the chestnuts are soft and mushy. You may need to add a little more water from time to time. If you have not managed to get the inner skin of the chestnuts off, it comes apart while they are cooking. Just spoon it out of the pan. Mash with a potato masher and add the chopped parsley.

Stir the chopped parsley into the chestnuts. Add the almond milk or yogurt and don't worry if the mixture is a little wet since the chestnuts absorb a lot of moisture it's better to be too wet than too dry. Stir in the honey and nutmeg. Sprinkle the nutmeg in a bit at a time and taste the mixture, you might want to add more or less. When it is cooked all the flavours come together. Spoon into a baking dish or freezer trays, if you are freezing it.

If you have frozen it, defrost overnight in the fridge. Set the oven to 180°C. Put a couple of pats of butter or vegan alternative onto the top of the stuffing and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.