About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Jan

Jan is a serious home cook who loves to read recipes and then do her own thing. Her focus is ingredient driven comfort food, often with an Italian influence. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about food and travels (next trip to Italy: May/June of 2012) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Kim

Kim joins us after being our permanent sub on the Pomodori e Vino project. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think or The Amy Foundation.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

Our Subs

About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Amy

Amy is a teacher in suburban Boston with far too many cookbooks, her Grandmother's meat grinder and canning jars, and a new Wolf stove. She appreciates cuisines from around the world, with a particular fondness for French, Moroccan, Italian, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking. Tweaking her cooking and eating habits resulted long-lasting weight loss and health benefits, proving that living well still tastes good. An old hobby is knitting; and a newer one is canning preserves. Read more from Amy on her blog, Destination Anywhere.

« Chestnut Ravioli in Marscarpone Sauce with Sage | Main | Gnocchi with Fall Vegetables and Chestnut Sauce »

Chestnut and Wild Mushroom Crostini

By Amy


Hooray, my first subbing gig for the Flavors blog! Kim asked me to take on Chestnuts for her, which I gladly accepted. I have loved chestnuts since my aunt started putting them into her Thanksgiving stuffing. A few years back I made a Chestnut and Porcini Soup which was delicious, and mushrooms were highlighted as complements for chestnuts in the Flavor Bible. I had dried porcini in the pantry, and chantrelles happened to be on sale that week. Additional ingredients I pulled from the Flavor Bible were cream, shallots, butter, Marsala, and thyme.

Oh, and about those chestnuts. I've tried the usual technique of cutting an x into the bottom, roasting, then attempting to pry the stubborn little things from the shells. Bloodshed, cursing, and a mess was the result. This time I tried another way which was much more successful. Cut the chestnuts in half, then put them in a ziploc bag with a drop or two of water. Seal the bag, and lay it flat in the microwave, so the chestnuts are in one layer. Microwave for 40-60 seconds, until soft. Let sit for a minute to cool, carefully open the bag, and the chestnuts should easily separate from their shells. Worked a treat!


Chestnut and Wild Mushroom Crostini

2 shallots, diced
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms, preferably some of which are wild, such as chantrelles or shitakis
1/4 cup dried porcini, soaked in hot water, then drained and chopped. (strain and save liquid)
1 cup chopped chestnuts
3 Tbs. Marsala wine
pinch fresh chopped thyme
3 Tbs. heavy cream

1 baguette, sliced

Heat a large skillet. Saute the chopped shallots in the butter until translucent, then add the fresh and soaked/ drained dried mushrooms. Cook until liquid emerges then evaporates. Let the mixture brown slightly, then add the thyme, Marsala and a Tablespoon of the mushroom soaking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chestnuts, and then the cream. Let the cream glaze the mixture, cook down a few minutes. Keep warm while you toast the crostini.


Toast the baguette slices. Top each with a spoonful of the mushroom-chestnut mixture, and serve.


Oh man, this was good. It made quite a lot of topping. I used the leftovers to stuff boneless chicken breasts, which was also delicious.

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Comments (3)

Amy-These look delicious! Great job on your first post.


Glad to have you with us Amy. The crostini look great!


Amy - thanks for taking this on!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 23, 2011 3:32 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Chestnut Ravioli in Marscarpone Sauce with Sage.

The next post in this blog is Gnocchi with Fall Vegetables and Chestnut Sauce.

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