A Christmas meal they’ll never forget

Yes, this year you will actually roast chestnuts on an open fire, and then create a delicious soup

Recipes by James Eddington
Eddington’s of Exeter
527 Main Street, Exeter

Chestnut soup

4 cups chestnuts, peeled and skinned
3/4 cup equal parts diced celery, carrots and onions
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsbp butter
pinch garlic
pinch allspice
pinch cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat stock pot on medium heat, add butter and olive oil and sauté until semi-soft. If you want to reduce heat and slow cook, this will draw more flavour. Add roasted chestnut and chicken stock, bring to boil for approx. 15 min. or until chestnuts are soft. Now add 1 cup of heavy cream, garlic, cinnamon, all spice and salt and pepper. Use a hand blender and pureé soup until smooth. If still chunky, boil for another 5 min. and reblend.
Feel free to be creative in garnishing this soup. For example, whisky-soaked cranberries or apricots are a nice touch; shaved roasted parsnips or caramelized bacon and onions would complement this soup.

Note: roasting chestnuts
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
(The following is NOT fun, but worth it in the end:) Use a sharp knife to cut an X into one side of the chestnut to allow the steam caused by roasting to escape; if you don’t do this, the chestnut will explode.
Place each chestnut with the cuts facing up onto cookie sheet. Roast 20-30 minutes or until chestnuts are tender, easy to peel, golden brown in color, and the shells are beginning to open.
Peel nuts when they are cool enough to handle.

Oven-roasted salmon with a zesty mustard and herb glaze
6 salmon fillets OR
1 fresh side of salmon
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs fresh chopped rosemary and thyme
splash of white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh lemon

Combine garlic and herbs in a food processor. Blend for 30 seconds, then add wine, oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend for another 15 seconds.
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Use baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange salmon on sheet and spoon mustard mixture over the fillets evenly. Bake for approx. 15 minutes until salmon are done. Note: many people are nervous when it comes to cooking fish. Do not overcook fish; cook until texture is slightly firm; no more. The centre of the fish should be hot, but retain its moisture.

Boursin crab stuffed potato
(A great little side)

In a mixing bowl, combine a wheel of boursin cheese, 1 cup of crabmeat, a pinch of salt and pepper, 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs, and a squeeze of lemon. Mix together.
Cook potatoes. You can used baked, a mini, or a red, whatever. Once cooked and cooled, cut potato in half, hollow out centre, and add boursin mixture. To make it more dense, add potato flesh that was removed to the cheese mixture. This can be made a day ahead; to reheat, place in oven on baking sheet eight minutes prior to salmon.

Chocolate, Bailey’s & Tia Maria café au lait
1 cup whole milk
3 oz Bailey’s
3 oz Tia Maria
cinnamon stick
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups brewed strong coffee
1/4 cup heavy cream
cinnamon, icing sugar and cocoa for garnish

In medium sized saucepan, whisk together milk, sugar and cocoa until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer. Add cinnamon stick, pinch of cloves, Bailey’s and Tia Maria.
Simmer for approx. four minutes, then reduce heat to low setting and let steep for 10 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream and add pinch of sugar. (Feel free to add a hint of vanilla.)
Strain mixture into another pot and add coffee. Bring back up to temperature. Serve immediately and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!