A gift of Saffron
- Jibe Aug 28, 2005 10:08 AM
A friend just got back from a trip abroad & brought me a tin of saffron threads. I know that this can be used in rice dishes such as Paella. Does anyone have any other recipes using saffron?
And how best to store it? There's a lot, so I'll have this around for awhile.
Thanks in advance!
Lucky you! Store it in an air-tight container away from light and it'll remain fresh a long time. A cupboard is fine. You can flavor bread or biscuits with it. Soups and stews are always a good vehicle for a touch of saffron flavor. I've heard of it being used in puddings, as well. Enjoy your windfall!
re: Pat Hammond
Put enough saffron in the water to turn the rice yellow when it's cooked. Drain and mix yellow rice with green peas. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese. That's sort of a basic dish in Argentina. But you can make a complete company meal very simply in this way: saute some chunks of boneless chicken breasts and lay in a big wide baking dish. Use same pan to brown some onions, mushrooms, and peppers and add to chicken. Mix raw rice with thawed frozen peas and distribute on top of other stuff. Pour hot water over saffron with some salt and stir around. Put this on top of the other stuff and add water to fill pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake just until rice is done. (You could also add ham and/or shrimp.) The end product is great for entertaining because it comes out sort of like a paella but is less trouble because it's in the oven baking while guests are arriving. Again, serve with lots of grated Parmesan.
Your friend is clever and generous: Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, because each "thread" has to be harvested by hand--the threads are the carefully dried stigmas of purple crocuses. Each crocus has only 3 threads, and it takes something like 14,500 threads to make an ounce of saffron.
I keep my saffron tightly sealed and in the freezer.
It's beautiful in many Moroccan dishes - like tagines, and can be used to add subtle flavour and colour to breads.
I agree with everyone else...wow, you lucky duck!!! I'll offer you a recipe to use the saffron, Meatballs in Saffron Sauce, link below. We tried it this past winter and really loved it; it's very different. I served it with noodles and green vegetable, but it's also an appetizer.