Https Cooking.Reviewed.Com Best-Right-Now The-Best-Food-Processors Bacon Wrapped Chestnut Fritters – A Special Treat Cooked Perfectly In Your Toaster Oven

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Bacon Wrapped Chestnut Fritters – A Special Treat Cooked Perfectly In Your Toaster Oven

Long ago there were many chestnut trees in North America. They actually made up about a quarter of the original forest when European colonists came to these lands. Chestnuts were plentiful, delicious and free. This is why the chestnut was so prominent in early American cooking. I love reading old cookbooks and recipe collections. I often try to adapt these recipes to today’s ingredients and cooking equipment, as well as our evolved taste buds. That’s exactly what I did with an old pork-wrapped chestnut fritters recipe.

Where are the chestnut trees now? The North American variety is close to extinction. It was wiped out by a disease carried on an imported tree in the early 1900s. These abundant wild chestnut trees no longer fill our forests. However, there are many hybrid chestnut varieties that are grown on farms. So while you can’t pick free chestnuts from the woods like early Americans did, you can find fresh chestnuts in many health food and specialty stores. This recipe is a little involved and time consuming, so it’s something I only make for holidays and other special occasions.

I have tried many different ways to prepare these tasty treats. I finally stumbled upon my toaster. Why the toaster? The close proximity of the heating elements makes the bacon deliciously crispy. I tried to emulate this in my broiler, but the direct heat was just too strong without offering enough in the way of ambient heat. The toaster oven provides an ideal cooking environment with just enough browning and just enough ambient heat.

The old-fashioned method of cooking bacon-wrapped chestnut fritters involved pan-frying over a fire in copious amounts of lard. Feel free to try, if you are brave enough, the end product is spectacular. However, it is incredibly greasy and absolutely loaded with fat. There are also inherent dangers in using grease near open flames. I’d like to think that early American cooks would have cooked their bacon-wrapped chestnut fritters in a toaster if given the option.

ingredients

2 dozen fresh chestnuts

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (you get enough salt from the bacon)

1 small red onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound plus 16 slices of bacon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Heat your toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Use the tip of a small paring knife to cut a small “x” on the flat side of each chestnut. Bake the chestnuts for 40 minutes. Take them out of the toaster and let them cool.

Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic until lightly golden; this should take about 3 minutes.

Place the cooled chestnuts in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a multipurpose blade. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the cooked onions and garlic and the freshly ground black pepper. Coarsely chop half a kilo of bacon and put it in the work bowl of the food processor. Process until everything is very well mixed.

Cut each of the 16 slices of bacon in half and arrange each in an “X”. Divide the chestnut filling evenly between the 16 bacon “Xs” and fold the bacon over to enclose the filling. Carefully flatten each fritter to a thickness of 3/4 inch. Cover the fritters tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I like to make these fritters the day before and just leave them in the fridge overnight.

Preheat your toaster oven to 400 degrees F, with a baking sheet in the oven. Carefully place the bacon-wrapped chestnut fritters on the hot pan and bake until golden brown and crispy; this should take about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

The best toaster oven for making bacon-wrapped chestnut fritters

You’re dealing with raw pork in this recipe, so having a toaster oven that cooks evenly is critical. Check out toaster oven reviews to find the best toaster oven for this recipe and more. Look for a model that is proven to cook evenly without hot spots. Never cook raw pork in an appliance that has problems with hot and cold spots; it can lead to food poisoning.

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