Monday, 7 January 2013

Chestnuts - not just for Christmas

Don't mess with Christmas or Christmas will mess with you... I spent December chirping about my plans for a foolproof Christmas - making and freezing all the food in advance - and (radically) planning to eat it on Christmas Eve, leaving me free to enjoy Christmas day outside the kitchen. With comic timing, I was taken ill just before the meal and spent the next two days in an opioid haze before being cut open on 28th. I was unable to eat a single thing for six days; my circadian rhythms altered, leaving me glued to Peter Andre at 4.00am and falling asleep bolt upright during the day. But amidst all this corporeal chaos was inspiration - in the form of Nigella and the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network making delicious, fresh dishes which I longed to re-create.

Now convalescing (aka 'milking it'), I find that it is simple foods I crave. Things like this nourishing

Chestnut and bacon soup:

75g streaky bacon
50g celery
125g onions
50g carrots (I used butternut squash)
25g butter
1 tsp dried thyme
240g tin cooked chestnuts
1.25 litres stock (or water plus stock cube)

Melt the butter in a pan, add the bacon, thyme and vegetables and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the chestnuts and stock, season well and cook for about 20 minutes with a lid on. Blend and serve. Reheat with a little cream.

Tin of chestnuts
Chestnuts - not just for Christmas

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