- pagesinthesun Jul 21, 2013 07:24 PM
This seems like some pretty good advice. I thought I'd share this with the group. Has anyone tried this?
Yes! It works well to dissolve the saffron in warm milk or water for a few minutes first. I always do this.
Another trick is to put saffron in a spice grinder with a lump of sugar and blend it to a powder before you dissolve it in the warm liquid - it helps it disperse more than in strands
I always dry-roast it (not to dry the saffron, but to further enhance the flavor & aroma). I then put in in a small bit of aluminum foil, and using the back of a spoon, break up the threads a little, then soak it in warm milk, as Siegal wrote.
I usually bloom my saffron right before using it. Since I often make saffron rice and add chicken stock, I put the saffron in a glass cup and cover it with 1/2 cup of chicken stock (or part white wine), microwave it for 20 seconds about twice (maybe let it sit for a minute between, to avoid having it boil over, making a big mess and wasting a lot of the saffron). Then I let it steep for the next 10 minutes while I do my other prep and saute the rice (pilaf prep style, in a little oil). By the time I'm ready to use it, it has bloomed nicely.
If you have a little white wine, the alcohol in the wine helps to release the flavor, too. I think some flavors and aromas are more soluble in alcohol. So a mix of the liquids may do a better job than just stock. Milk works well if you're doing an Indian style sweet dessert.
Thanks for sharing the lovely food shots and creative tips!
Saffron is an ingredient I use in the rice dishes of a line of Middle Eastern ready meals I produce. I use Persian saffron, and the traditional Persian method for processing it, namely: ensure saffron is nice and crispy-dry (if not, it can be toasted or some people even microwave it for a few seconds); finely grind saffron, with a pinch of salt, in a mortar and pestle (at this stage it can be decanted and into a spice jar and stored in the fridge); pour in enough hot water to immerse all the saffron, and soak for at least 10 minutes, to soften; pour into whatever you're using it for. Use a little more water to rinse any remaining precious saffron elixir from your mortar into your recipe. If you're using the saffron for rice, Persians take a bit of the cooked rice and stir it into the elixir, then sprinkle the resulting brightly stained rice onto the top of their lovely, fragrant basmati rice.