Waikato Chestnut Growers Association Annual Dinner

6 May 2000 -- Report

A smaller than usual number of chestnut growers were treated to the usual fine array of dishes based on chestnuts.

Our guest was Professor Oswin Maurer, new head of the Department of Food Marketing at Waikato University. Oswin has had considerable experience with chestnuts, starting in his homeland in Europe, then on to USA and Australia. In Australia he assisted the Australian Chestnut Growers Association with some marketing projects, and he is keen to become involved in the industry now he has moved to NZ.

Among the dishes for eating were;

    Corsican Chestnut jam
    Orange Chestnut foccacia bread
    Chestnut macaroni
    Chestnut fritters
    Chestnut crispy noodle salad
    Spicy Chestnut wontons
    Chestnut chocolate and orange slice
    Chestnut chocolate pie
    Chestnut Mud Pie
    Chestnut truffles
    Sugared chestnuts

I'm sure I have forgotten some!


Corsican Chestnut Jam

(Nick Empson, 6/5/2000, from Odile and Brenard Andry)

Peel chestnuts until you have about 1 kg. (WCGA chestnut peelers excellent for this!)
In a big saucepan, place some wild fennel branches in some water to boil. When water is boiling, add the chestnuts.
Cook for 10 minutes.
Take chestnuts from pan one by one and remove the pellicle (thin inner skin).
Mash the chestnuts.
Add the mashed chestnuts (1 kg), 800 g white caster sugar, 200 mL water and some vanilla stick to a large pan and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon.
Place into sterilised jars while hot and seal immediately. Store upside down.
Voila, enjoy!

Orange Chestnut Foccacia

(Peter Robinson)

2 t yeast
450 g white flour
1 t sugar
1 T milk powder
1 T butter
1 t salt
250 mL water
50 mL fresh orange juice
0.5 cup grated orange rind
1 cup steamed (10 min) chestnuts, coarsely chopped

Make dough in a breadmaker using the 'Raisin Dough' setting, and adding the orange rind and chestnuts at the first beep.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape to suit eg put in a loaf tin or make flat round.
Allow to rise for a couple of hours.
Brush lightly with olive oil/chopped orange rind and bake at 220C for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Chestnut macaroni

(C van Selm, 6/5/2000)

500 g macaroni stars (cooked)
200 g chopped, steamed, peeled chestnuts
100 g chopped mushrooms
100 g Mozarella cheese

Mix and brown in the oven.
Garnish with tomato and herbs

Chestnut fritters

(C van Selm, 6/5/2000)

400 g chestnuts, peeled, steamed or boiled and mashed with milk
cup flour
tsp baking powder
cup chopped bacon

Mix all ingredients together and for into balls.
Deep fry until golden brown.

Chestnut and Crispy Noodle Salad

For 2 servings:

1-2 cups peeled, steamed chestnuts (steam 15-20 mins)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp Kikkoman soy sauce
2-3 cups crisp lettuce strips
salad vegetables (spring onion, coriander leaves, celery, cucumber, red pepper, sprouts)
about 1 cup crisp-fried noodles
about cup prepared dressing
2-3 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Coat steamed chestnuts with sesame oil and soy sauce and quickly stir fry.
Cut the crisp lettuce into strips. Place in bowl with two or three other salad vegetables, cut in thin strips.
Toss warm chestnuts with about 1 tbsp of dressing. Toss salad mix with about 2 tbsp of dressing.
Layer the greens, crisp-fried noodles and chestnuts in a pyramid on a salad plate.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds (if you wish).


2 cloves garlic (optional)
1 cm piece of fresh root ginger
1 small dried chilli pepper (optional)
cup wine vinegar or rice vinegar
cup Kikkoman soy sauce
1-2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornflour (about)
cup water

Roughly chop the garlic and ginger in a food processor. Process with all remaining dressing ingredients (or shake together), except water, until finely chopped. Add water, tip into a pot or pan.
Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, pour into a lidded container and cool. Use immediately or store in the frig. (Dressing will keep for about a week in the frig).
(Also excellent with chicken!)

Spicy Chestnut Wontons (Vegetarian)

(Joce Dawkins, 6/5/2000)

1 pkt Wonton wrappers
3 cups cooked, crumbed chestnuts
1 cup spinach, cooked and well chopped up
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, chopped
olive or other oil
1 - 2 tsp curry powder (to taste)
Dipping sauce Sweet and sour, tomato or own choice

Cook onion, garlic and ginger in a small amount of oil. Stir, with the curry powder, into the cooked chestnuts. Add spinach.
Add a little vinegar to moisten, if needed.
Place a spoon of the mixture into the centre of each wrapper and fold (either Wonton or Spring roll shape). Use beaten egg or milk to stick edges of the wrapper.
Deep fry in oil until golden brown and serve hot with the dipping sauce.

Chocolate chestnut pie

(Mary Banks, 6/5/2000)

225 g chestnuts, peeled and steamed or boiled
3 tblspn cocoa
1 egg
4 Tblsp sugar
Short pastry

Mash chestnuts until smooth. Stir in sugar and cocoa and add sufficient milk to make a thick cream.
Beat the egg well and add to the mixture.
Pour into a pie plate lined with short pastry.
Cook at 180C for 30 - 40 minutes.
NB: This pie is VERY rich, especially when cold.

Chestnut chocolate orange slice

(Mary Banks, 6/5/2000)

225 g unsweetened chestnut puree
175 g caster sugar
1 orange
175 g butter
250 g cooking chocolate

Beat puree until soft. Beat butter and sugar together.
Break up chocolate and melt (microwave, or over water)
Add melted chocloate and chestnut puree to the creamed butter and sugar.
Grate the orange rind finely, squeeze out juice and beat both into mixture.
Oil a sponge roll tin, or line with paper. Press the mixture into the tin.
Put in refrigerator overnight to set.
Cut into thin slices. Serve with whipped cream and a curl of orange.

Sugared Chestnuts

(Peter Robinson)

Peel small (10 - 15 g) chestnuts.
Steam 7 - 8 minutes
Make syrup from 1/2 cup sugar / 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice. Biol until thickened.
Tip chestnuts into syrup and continue cooking for a few (3 - 4) minutes. Stir very gently to prevent chestnuts from breaking up.
Cool, then drain off syrup.
Tip into a bowl and cover with caster sugar, mixing gently.
Place separately on greaseproof paper on a tray.
Dry in oven at 40C for 10 minutes.


For further information about the New Zealand Chestnut Council, contact:

David Klinac - 10 June Place, Hamilton. Ph 07 8569321