Consulting chef Andrew Spurgin, San Diego: "As a child in England, I loved fire-roasted chestnuts sold on the street in winter and presented in little brown paper bags. You'd turn your fingers black from peeling every last gem. Every time I enjoy the pleasure of a chestnut, I am transported to my youth. My grandma Eve used to make a version similar to this recipe for Christmas dinner."
Andrew Spurgin uses fresh chestnuts when they're in season in fall and winter. He cuts them in half and boils them quickly to soften, then pops the chestnut flesh out of the shell before roasting.
12 ounces canned or vacuum-packed shelled chestnuts, large pieces cut in half (or about 1 lb. fresh, if available)
6 slices (8 oz.) thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Toss chestnuts in oil and put on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, turning often, until slightly toasted but not dry, 10 to 15 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add brussels sprouts and cook until bright green and just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Cook bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat, stirring often, until almost crisp. Drain bacon in a strainer, reserving fat in a bowl.
Wipe out pan and add 3 tbsp. reserved bacon fat. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add drained brussels sprouts and cook, stirring often and adding more fat if needed, until browned and starting to crisp, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and lemon juice, stirring to combine.
Transfer to a serving bowl and top with reserved bacon and chestnuts.