Speaking of simple and good. I found the best tasting dried chestnuts in Chinatown a couple of days ago. You never know when getting redirected will be a great gift. I like to get jobs tears barley from a stand I found on the corner of Mott and Hester streets. They have clean products and good prices. Only they stopped having my barley and told me to go down the street to another shop. The first shop didn't look so good to me, so after two very messy fish sellers, I walked into a dry goods store that had some nice looking jobs tears. I took some home, washed it well and cooked it. Fantastic. It was maybe the best I've had. I went back for more and tried their dried chestnuts. Even better than the Italian ones I used to covet. I just soaked them and then boiled with a piece of kombu for 45min.
Or you might try cooking them with other vegetables or make a soup:
Squash and Chestnut Soup
Elegant soup for two
This soup has a velvety texture and both sweet and savory in flavor. Terrific for holidays or entertaining since it’s also so simple to prepare.
1/4 Cup dried chestnuts soaked with all dark red skin removed
1/2 large butternut squash
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 – 1 tsp. Thyme
1 large clove garlic – pressed into soup
White miso to taste
Water to cover
Put the chestnuts and their soaking water into a pot with the Kombu. Simmer covered for 25 minutes. Add the squash, onion, garlic and Thyme and water to cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool somewhat and then blend all ingredients adding the miso. Garnish with nutmeg and parsley.