The best way to roast (& boil) chestnuts in the fireplace

The best way to roast (& boil) chestnuts in the fireplace | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Due to the bitter cold and the strong wind I reminiscence over the evenings during Christmas that we were roasting chestnuts in the fire. We would gather all around the sparkling fire and we would start discussions and open wine bottles, preparing the terrain (and the charcoals) for the show – the roasting chestnuts big time! Oh, we may have been roasting even a kilo per night, so wonderful.
If you do not have access to a fireplace or an open fire but want to revive such moments too, you can use your gas stove (it will just take a little more time). And you can always resort to the boiling-chestnuts solution, which I assure you that will fill your home with the same delicious magical smells.

The best way to roast (& boil) chestnuts in the fireplace | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

If you roast the chestnuts on a fire or charcoals (watch them and turn them in time so they don’t burn), use a pan made of tin. If you find also one that has holes in the bottom it’s exactly for this job. You can also use a piece of tinned steel or an opened oil tin etc. Be cautious not to roast the chestnuts on aluminum as it is toxic. If you boil chestnuts, you can use any of your pots obviously.

The best way to roast (& boil) chestnuts in the fireplace | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

And now, could I have your undivided attention please? All the magic of baking or boiling lies in the way you prepare (a.k.a. cut) the chestnuts. For the roasting you MUST cut them otherwise they will explode. The best way to do so is to cut them lengthwise in their ass ( at the base of the chestnut) and to extend the cut sidewise. When they are done they will open with only one sweeping move taking along them the bitter inner skin and leaving behind only the gold –deliciouuuuuus- fruit. Say goodbye to all this wasted cleaning time. For the boiled ones, you have to cut a cross at their base to facilitate the passage of more water during the boiling so that the chestnut swells enough.

The best way to roast (& boil) chestnuts in the fireplace | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

During all my childhood the chestnuts preparation during the cold months was a rite and a family tradition we loved and we looked forward to. And we keep this sweet tradition until today. Do you also love roasting or boiling chestnuts with your loved ones? Do you have any tips and tricks you want to share too? I wish you the most cozy night tonight. xoxo

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Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Delicious rabbit in the oven with mushrooms, honey and beer

Delicious rabbit in the oven with mushrooms honey and beer | by In Whirl of Inspiration

Aaand , we officially passed the cold pillars for season. From now on, let's all be prepared for extra frost and winds and sea-swells (if you live on an island, lot's of good luck). And because this icy atmosphere generates a lot of grumbling and bad mood swingings,  I am here to remind you that this cold is the perfect excuse to kick off the oven-cooked dishes. They are delicious, they transform your kitchen into a cozy little nest and your place on your face joy and bliss. The recipe that follows is one of my all-time favorite ones and triggers only joyful family memories around tables with rapidly changing hand dishes and delicious food disappearing before I even had the chance to taste it.

So let's all clink glasses to the foods that bring people together I hope this recipe will work as such one for you too. "Chin-Chin"

Delicious rabbit in the oven with mushrooms honey and beer | by In Whirl of Inspiration

Ingredients (for 3-4 dishes):

  • 1 rabbit into pieces
  • 1 can of beer
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 400g. mushrooms
  • 1 twig of fresh rosemary
  • freshly grounded salt and pepper

To accompany the meat: 1 kg potatoes

 
 
Many people that I know complain that rabbit meat’s smell is something that they can’t stand. However, I bet that this recipe will change their (and hopefully yours too?) minds.

Procedure:

1. First cut the rabbit in medium pieces (keep the bones on) and clean in under running water. Let it dry well between paper towels. This is very important, because later we will fry it and excess humidity will cause unpleasant hot oil splashing.

2. Afterwards, add the flour and the rabbit in pieces in a plastic bag, close the bag well and shake until all meat pieces are covered with flour evenly.

3. In high heat or strong fire (if you have a gas cooker, use this) fill a pan with olive oil up to 1cm and when it's hot add the floured meat pieces. The purpose is not to cook the meat like that (do you remember the oven part?), but fry each side until it gets a nice golden brown color. Place every done piece on paper towels to remove the excess oil.

4. In fresh olive oil again, saute the mushrooms. When they get softer (but before they because soggy) add a can of beer and dissolve in a teaspoon of honey too. Wait until the beer's alcohol evaporates and take the pan off the fire. In a (Pyrex) pot with lid (or any oven dish with lid) add the rabbit pieces and add the mushrooms, beeron the top. Beware to choose a pot with a small bottom diameter as all the meat pieces should be covered or mostly be dipped in the sauce.

5. Place the twig of rosemary into the pot, close the lid and put it inpreheated oven at 230C for 20 minutes and then lower the temperature to 180C other 50-70 minutes.

6. As you wait for the meat to be cooked you can prepare something to accompany this marvellous meat.  The rabbit of this recipe goes well with boiled potatoes with their skin. You can boil them, cut them in pieces, sprinkle them with sweet paprika, salt and pepper and put them in the oven to make the crust (when the temperature is at 180C so they don't get burned).

This rabbit recipe awards rabbit as -probably- the most delicious meat I have ever tasted. Many people that I know complain that rabbit meat's smell is something that they can't stand. However, I bet that this recipe will changetheir (and hopefully yours too?) minds.  Just make sure to buy good quality meat and bon appetit.

Delicious rabbit in the oven with mushrooms honey and beer | by In Whirl of Inspiration
Delicious rabbit in the oven with mushrooms honey and beer | by In Whirl of Inspiration
1 Comment

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Creamy pumpkin "tagliatelle" with mortadella and peppers

Creamy pumpkin "tagliatelle" with mortadella and peppers | In Whirl of Inspiration

This recipe proudly belongs to the "shower recipes" category of recipes. If I ever write a cooking book, there will be a special chapter dedicated to "ingenious shower recipes" along to the classic soups, appetizers and salads ones. Because, you see the thoughts that everyone makes during this very standard procedure of showering happen to be very disparate; some despair with their relationship and some others think -out loud- songs. I, on the other side, squeeze my mind to come up with new recipes that I would like to try. But enough with the showers and soaps. 

When in Greece, I have purchased a small collection of my favorite delicatessen from Sary and I was trying to come up with interesting ways to leverage them. Here in the NL I don't have the joy to always find high quality raw ingredients for my culinary adventures, so this was a good opportunity to experiment. So, ladies and gentlemen, please give your most warm applause for the pumpkin "tagliatelles".

Creamy pumpkin "tagliatelle" with mortadella and peppers - Ingredients | In Whirl of Inspiration

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

1 small pumpkin

8-10 slices of Sary peppery mortadella

1 red and 1 green pepper

2 medium onions

2 cloves garlic

1 cooking cream

parsley, oregano, salt and freshly ground pepper

Procedure:

Cut the pumpkin and clean the spores inside. Cut it into slices of 3-4 mm thickness and then cut these slices into stripsof approx. 1 cm. In the end of this infinite cutting you should end up with your "tagliatelles": strips with 1 cm width and 3-4 mm thickness. Then in a pot give them a boil (for 3'-4 ') until they are cooked, but they slightly hard. Drain the "tagliatelles" and add them to chopped onion and garlic and saute them all together. Add the mortadella and peppers in slices and continue to stir. Finally, add the cooking cream (optionally), parsley, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir until you end up with a homogenous mix and serve while warm. Bon appetit!

Creamy pumpkin "tagliatelle" with mortadella and peppers | In Whirl of Inspiration
Creamy pumpkin "tagliatelle" with mortadella and peppers | In Whirl of Inspiration

(This post is sponsored by Sary: a Greek family business with the finest delicatessen, strange cheeses and original combinations of sausages, nuts and vegetables,  which I love for years.  Thank you for supporting the brands that support In Whirl of Inspiration.)

Credits | Writing & Photography: Debbie Kortes

Comment

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Tea biscuits with persimmon and chocolate flakes

Tea biscuits with persimmon and chocolate flakes.jpg

The other day I was going through a farmers market in our neighborhood, I saw some persimmons and I felt (a lot) nostalgic for the Greek warm autumns and their juicy fruits. So, I definitely had to do something with these persimmons.And since, here in Amsterdam, I am a self-proclaimedambassador of every flavor of teas, I thought that it would be nice to make some persimmon biscuits. Because, we all know that the tea-biscuits combination is a love at first site.

Tea biscuits with persimmon and chocolate flakes 2.jpg

Ingredients (make 20-22):

:: 250 gr. of raising flour

:: half of the baking powder portion

:: 50 gr. butter

:: 2 persimmons

:: 50 gr. chocolate flakes/sprinkles

:: 100 gr. brown sugar

:: 1 egg

:: a little cinnamon

:: 1/4 teaspoon salt

Procedure:

Peel the persimmons and chop them finely. In a bowl mix all the ingredients (except the flour) to create a uniform mass. And then slowly add the flour. Your dough should be neither too damp, nor too dry. Allow it to stay for half and hour in the refrigerator and at the same time preheat the oven to 150 °C.

Make small balls and press to make them flat. Place them on a baking pan, covered with baking sheet and bake them for 10' at 150 °C and for more 10' at 180 °C to become even more more crunchy externally.

Make a big cup of tea, roll under a blanket, sprinkle the biscuits with a little more cinnamon and enjoy them while warm!

For more recipes, you can find all of them here and choose one depending on the ingredients or type of meal you want. Happy cooking! :)

1 Comment

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!