A good friend of has two mature chestnut trees in her yard and since she is not fond of chestnuts we were lucky enough to receive this year's crop. This particular nut is hard to find in these parts, sometimes you can find a sad looking package in one of the 'gourmet' stores, but more often than not the lovely deep brown lustre has faded from the shell.
We had enough to experiment - A thick creamy soup (Stephanie Alexander) chestnuts roasted in the oven and then sauteed in butter and salt, and a rich casserole with parsnips, carrots, mushrooms, cooked with sherry, rosemary and juniper berries, a Nigel Slater recipe. The casserole would go very well with turkey for Thanksgiving. I served it with a barley risotto and sprouts with roasted red pepper, and of course plenty of our 2011 pinot noir on hand.