I have found a chestnut tree near to me that is absolutely laden with chestnuts. If I went and picked some (the tree is on common ground) what on earth would I do with them...?? Any recipe, storage or preserving tips would be gratefully recieved...! TIA!
No idea but shall be watching since we have an enormous tree in the garden and usually they just get left to the squirrels. This year we're on a strict budget since I'm about to be made redundant and so if they're edible and even vaguely tasty we will be eating them!
From experience the best method to keep them whole is to cut a small cross into the skin of the chestnuts and then boil for about 10 mins until tender. Then you have to peel them by hand which, I warn you, is a bugger of a job. You have to let them cool a little so that you can handle them but if they get too cool the skin is really difficult to peel off. So peel them in little batches, keeping the rest in the hot water so that the skin stays soft... Good luck
You can do LOADS with chestnuts, they are ace! Here are some ideas:
Chestnut stuffing. I use a Nigella recipe, here: http://newnigella127.blogspot.com/
Marrons Glaces. A bit time-consuming, but they are very expensive in the shops, so worth it if you like them! Also makes a lovely gift, and they store very well. I just googled a recipe here: http://www.epicureantable.com/recipes/C/chestglace.htm
You can store them in a jar in their syrup for months, and then put them in individual mini muffin cases or something when you are ready to serve.
Chestnut flour - very gourmet stuff, you cook the chestnuts as described by cogito and then grate them, and then dry them out in a very low oven. The resulting flour is very rich, and you can use it to make really fancy pasta (replace half the flour with it in a normal pasta recipe) or a really rich roux sauce, or biscuits or pancakes etc etc etc.
Have a look at the River Cottage Hedgerow handbook, which is where I got most of my ideas from. You can also make chestnut and chocolate jam, although I've never made that and can't remember the recipe (it was in the River Cottage preserves handbook).