I love chestnuts roasting on an open fire. We actually have a chestnut roasting pan next to the fireplace. I first started eating these in Italy years ago. Anyway, I have only ever eaten them right out of the fire, but I came across this recipe for crostini that looked intriguing and really rather sophisticated. A balsamic glaze would also work on these instead of honey. I am making these tonight for a party.
Chestnut and Sharp Cheddar Crostini
24 chestnuts in the shell (3/4 to 1 lb)
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp pickling spice
20 thin slices slender baguette, brushed with butter and toasted
5 oz extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
20 watercress sprigs
Salt and pepper
Cut an X through shell on flat side of each chestnut with a small, sharp knife. Simmer chestnuts in water, covered, until tender and sweet (peel one to check), 18 to 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and leave in hot water. Take out a few at a time; let stand just until cool enough to touch. Pull off outer shell and inner brown skin with fingers or a knife.
Microwave honey with pickling spice until boiling; let cool.
Top baguette slices with cheese, watercress, and chestnuts (save extras for another use). Rewarm honey slightly; discard large, round allspice. Spoon honey with remaining spices over crostini. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with plenty of napkins.