Chestnut Pancakes with Bacon and Crème Fraîche
recipe courtesy bon appetit
6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped jarred steamed chestnuts (7 to 8 ounces), divided
Crème fraîche or sour cream
Chopped chives or maple syrup
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Transfer 2 tablespoons bacon drippings to blender; add milk and next 3 ingredients, then 1 cup chestnuts. Blend until batter is smooth. Pour batter into bowl; stir in remaining 1/2 cup chestnuts.
Pour remaining drippings into small bowl. Brush same skillet with some drippings; heat over medium heat. Drop in batter by rounded tablespoonfuls. Cook pancakes until brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Top with créme fraîche and bacon, then chives or maple syrup.
Chestnut and Mushroom Soup
recipe courtesy Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights: Recipes for Every Season, Mood and Appetite by Sophie Dahl
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups of mixed mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon sherry
Salt and pepper
1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup fresh roasted chestnuts (or canned chestnuts)
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (on any other fresh herb still in the garden or on the kitchen sill)
First, sweat the onion in some olive oil; after a few minutes add the chopped mushrooms and cook on a low heat for a few minutes. Add the sherry– you should be hit by that lovely sugar waft. Season a little. Add the stock and cook on a low heat again for another 15 minutes.
Add the chestnuts and cook for another 15 minutes. Let the mixture cool a bit, then transfer to a blender and puree. Put it back in the pan– you could add a tablespoon of cream if you want. If not, toss a little chopped fresh parsley on top, and off you go.