Http 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, chestnut trees were abundant in North America. They actually made up about a quarter of the native forest when European settlers arrived on these lands. Chestnuts were plentiful, delicious and free. This is why the chestnut was so important in early American cuisine. I love reading old cookbooks and recipe books. I often try to adapt these recipes to modern kitchen ingredients and equipment as well as our evolved taste buds. That’s exactly what I did with an old pork-wrapped chestnut donut recipe.

Where are the chestnut trees now? The North American variety is near extinction. It was wiped out by a disease transmitted from a tree imported in the early 1900s. These abundant and wild chestnut trees no longer inhabit our forests. There are, however, many varieties of hybrid chestnut trees that are grown on farms. So while you can’t pick free chestnuts from the forest like early Americans did, you can find fresh chestnuts at many health food and specialty stores. This recipe is a bit complicated and time consuming, so it’s something I only make on holidays and other special occasions.

I have tried many different ways to cook these delicious treats. I finally settled on my toaster oven. Why the toaster oven? The proximity of the heating elements makes the bacon deliciously crispy. I tried to mimic this in my grill, but the direct heat was just too strong without providing enough ambient heat. The toaster oven provides the ideal cooking environment, with just enough browning and just enough ambient heat.

The old-fashioned way of cooking bacon-wrapped chestnut fritters involved pan-frying them over a fire in copious amounts of lard. Feel free to give it a try if you’re 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 an open flame. I’d like to think that early American cooks would have made their bacon-wrapped chestnut fritters in a toaster oven, if they had that option.

Ingredients

2 dozen fresh chestnuts

2 tbsp unsalted butter (you’ll get enough salt from the bacon)

1 small red onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, 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” into the flat side of each chestnut. Bake the chestnuts for 40 minutes. Take them out of the toaster oven and let them cool.

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

Place the cooled chestnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a multi-purpose blade. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add cooked onions and garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Coarsely chop the pound of bacon and add it to the bowl of the food processor. Process until everything is very well combined.

Cut each of the 16 slices of bacon in half and arrange each in an “X”. Divide the chestnut filling evenly among the 16 “X”s of bacon and fold the bacon over to enclose the filling. Gently flatten each donut to 3/4 inch thickness. Cover donuts tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I like to make these donuts the night before and leave them in the fridge overnight.

Heat your toaster oven to 400 degrees F, with a baking sheet in the oven. Carefully place the bacon-wrapped chestnut fritters on the hot skillet and cook 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 crucial. Check out toaster oven reviews to find the best toaster oven for this recipe and more. Look for a model that has been shown to cook evenly without hot spots. Never cook raw pork in an appliance that has hot and cold spot problems; this could lead to food poisoning.

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