Forget an open fire. You can cook chestnuts in your miniature oven and still impress the hell out of anyone within sniffing distance. And if you’ve never actually tried the holiday staple yourself, you may be surprised. Chestnuts are full of flavor, and have a meatier, savorier taste than you might think. Pair them with melted cinnamon butter and a glass of brandy and your next holiday party may take an unexpected turn towards classy.
How To: Before you cook them, make an “X” incision with a sharp knife through the rounded side of each chestnut. Cut just into the shell and try not to slice too deep into the flesh of each nut. (Yeah, gross, we know.) After making the slits, put the nuts X side up on a roasting pan and cook at 350-degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Take them out and set them aside to cool down. When they are the right temperature to handle, peel the shells and the papery skin off each nut with your fingers or a small knife. Serve warm and keep the gloating to a minimum.