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Saffron

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  • After Bunny Nov 27, 2001 08:22 AM
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Does anyone have any general guidelines on the use of this spice for a 'new user' of it. Recipes, particularly with rice or potatoes, are also welcome.

Thank you!

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  1. Saffron can be used in a sweet or savory dish. In savory dish, you can use saffron in paella, seafood risotto, or anything that has seafood. I prefer saffron in a dessert format. I've modified creme brulee recipes to incorporate saffron and the result is wonderful. I've also made rice puddings with saffron, this yields a very Indian dessert.

    Saffron is one of my favorit spice, but I use it sparingly, just because it's so costly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Wendy Lai
      c
      Caitlin McGrath

      Using too much saffron also imparts a harsh taste, very disappointing when you want the delicate taste it is known for. Buy saffron in threads, not ground, and crumble it with your fingers when you add it to your preparation. Beware of any that is inexpensive or from Mexico; it's fake.

    2. s
      Simon Majumdar

      There is a superb recipe from the southern part of spain which uses saffron enriched milk to cook with Hake and potatoes.

      You infuse about 1/2 pint milk ( slightly warmed ) with saffron ( about three or four strands ) and pour over layers of very floury potatoes and big hake chunks in an earthenware pot. This is put in the oven on a very low heat for c3hrs. The potatoes break down and mix with the milk to make the most sensational sauce which is finally flavoured with lots of chopped parsley.

      The only thing I find is that the saffron from Spain ( which I believe comes from North Africa ) is much milder in colour than the Saffron from India I find in many places in London

      Oh- It is also fantastic to put two strands in a martini or a gin & tonic!!!

      Enjoy

      S

      6 Replies
      1. re: Simon Majumdar

        this sounds amazing! I'm going to make it this week.

        Of course Hake is hard to come by here, any suggestions for a different type of fish?

        Thanks
        Ben

        1. re: ben f

          Cod would be a fine substitute, either fresh or bacalao, soaked over night and rinsed until the water tastes mild and not salty. I make something like what Simon suggests that is very Porguguese, and very lovely. He really got my antennae twitching with the martini suggestion, though. What an idea.

        2. re: Simon Majumdar

          Spanish saffron generally comes from la Mancha, I think.

          1. re: Meg

            No...that's where Don Quixote comes from.

            1. re: Jim H.

              yes, don quixote also. And Manchego cheese. :)

              From
              http://www.saffron-spain.com/ingles/i...

              "The land must be dry, calcareous, aired, flat and without trees. Attributes that the Meseta of Castilla-La Mancha has, which has made it one of the most important production areas in the world."

              I'm sure there are other sources for this info, but this was the first one I found.

          2. re: Simon Majumdar

            A saffron martini?! Why some nice girl hasn't snatched you up yet is beyond me.

          3. if you look at the garlic soup thread, i posted a recipe with saffron rice and potatoes. A little goes a long way (good since it is so expensive) and you get the most out of it by letting it sit in warm liquid for a while and then using the infused liquid

            1. Saffron is an important ingredient in some of the world's most famous dishes: Moroccan couscous, Spanish paella, Turkish, Persian and Indian rice pilafs, and Provencal bouillabaisse. It is also used in breads, especially celebration breads like Swedish St. Lucia buns for Christmas. It is also popular in risotto and with cream-based seafood dishes.

              Use the Google search engine and good cookbooks to find these recipes. Enjoy your saffron!

              1. For those interested in saffron, the San Francisco Herb and Spice Co has it for around $2.00 per gram...cheaper for over 5 grams. We have found that when we visit friends, a gram of saffron is unexpected and appreciated. Many would like to try it but are put off by the price. The site is www.sfherb.com, and they do a big mail order business

                1. Check out "Secrets of Saffron: The Vagabond Life of the World's Most Seductive Spice" by Pat Willard. She covers all aspects of the spice and includes a couple of wonderful recipes including one for a "soothing broth" and a saffron pound cake. Kalustyans (Lex &28 th) has both the Spanish and Persian varieties. According to Willard, who gave a terrific lecture on the subect a month or so ago, saffron has a long shelf life if stored away from heat and light. The Persian sells for $35. for 1/2 gram which is a generous amount and will scent and flavor a lot of paella!