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Count Chestnut, er, Nesselrode & His Many Dishes

   I now know that there are lots of variations on Nesselrode chestnut pie, but what are the other recipes (dishes) that were named after him? I had read that there was a soup? Can you tell me about other dishes? (I am planning a "Napoleonic Era" dinner using dishes named for famous people of Napoleonic times for Thanksgiving....)

&nbsp So we have to move heaven & earth so you can choose among a variety of Nesselrode dishes — one ornate 19th-century dish based on chestnut purée is not enough for your holiday guests? Actually, we would be very interested to know what you choose for the final menu; it sounds like an intriguing holiday feast.

We found four dishes named after the Russian diplomat who negotiated the Treaty of Paris after the Crimean War. He was not a cook himself, but certainly had the wisdom and means to hire or motivate some of the best chefs in Europe, and clearly was a fan of chestnuts. The most common is Nesselrode Pudding, which can certainly be used to make a pie. It is a chestnut puree mixed with a sweet custard, often frozen in a charlotte mold and served with glacéed chestnuts. Another dessert option is a Bombe Nesselrode, which contains a Kirsch-flavored chestnut purée spooned into a mold lined with vanilla ice cream.

On the savory side, Consommé Nesselrode has a case of mixed identity. Larousse has it as a combination of profiteroles with an onion-chestnut purée piped into one end and a mushroom duxelles mixture spooned into the other end, and served alongside a game consommé. Escoffier has it as julienned chicken breast, julienned mushrooms, and what are essentially sliced chestnut dumplings swimming in a game consommé.

We have been able to track down one final savory Nesselrode dish but not the name or a recipe. It is either braised veal sweetbreads or sautéed venison steak, served with a pepper sauce and a salted chestnut purée.

Here is the Larousse multi-stage recipe for Consommé Nesselrode — hope you've got an old pheasant hanging around.


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