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Lessons in the pot of a Kitchen Rookie. Here are simple recipes to play around with ranging from different cultures in Africa through Europe to Asia, cooking and kitchen tips. Find out secrets that make an ordinary meal extra ordinary. Entertain yourself with the different stories of my life and join me in my small and humble kitchen.

Spanish Saffron

After a really long time of having my dinner meals at the same restaurant, last night I thought I should make myself some saffron spiced vegetable rice. In my kitchen cabinet I had Spanish saffron. As I soaked one cup of basmati rice in Luke warm water and set my pan of 2 cups of water, a drop of vegetable cooking oil and a pinch of salt, it hit me that I had almost no idea how to use saffron. I was a little girl when my aunt used to make her nicely flavored saffron spiced rice and I never went to the kitchen to see that it
was actually soaked for a while to get the flavor and color so after placing a few threads of saffron in a little water and not seeing a color change as instantly as I expected, I resorted to fried rice for my dinner.

This is when I knew I had to research about saffron.
Apart from the fact that saffron originated from Morocco and that it's a commonly used spice in Arabic, Indian and Mediterranean cooking and especially good with fish and seafood and that Saffron is only taken from these little lilac particular flowers and that the meadow saffron, which is sometimes mistaken for it, is poisonous, I learnt some other interesting uses of saffron in the past.

Today saffron is so expensive that most people wouldn't consider using it as a fragrance for their homes and baths as the Romans did in the past. During the Middle Ages, it was used to treat menstrual pain, uterine bleeding and to induce menstruation which could lead to the abortion of a fetus. For this reason, pregnant women should not consume any more than a culinary amount of saffron. It's still used by Chinese herbalists for the treatment of abdominal pain, and it continues to be considered for its capabilities to lower blood pressure.

So going back to the reason as to why I went on to research about saffron I found out that …..

……when you go ingredient shopping; powdered saffron may have other things added to it, so unless you know its 100 percent saffron, stick to the whole threads. They should have a bright red or deep orange color if they are a high quality product. Saffron is quite expensive, so if you are paying a discount price, expect that it probably isn't a very good quality.

Using Saffron to spice your meal; crush and soak the saffron threads in hot liquid for about 15 minutes, and then add the liquid to your recipe. It needs moisture to re-hydrate, release its full flavor and dispense its vibrant color.
Soaking it in stock or wine will add an extra layer of flavor to the dish you are preparing. Powdered saffron doesn't require soaking, and it's more concentrated, so use less. Add flavor and color to rice, noodles, soups and cookies. You can also obtain an egg rich color to your baked goods by adding a small amount of saffron.

Tea; I am a lover of spiced tea if I don’t have my coffee so I can make some tea by boiling 4 cups of water and adding a pinch of saffron and sugar to taste.

Saffron seasoning with almond, apple, cheese and most grain dishes It also goes well with other spices, such as cinnamon, rosemary and thyme. The main thing to consider when using saffron with other spices is that they may overpower its unique flavor. You may want to avoid using chile pepper or turmeric in the same dish with saffron for that reason

 Tips & Warnings, Store your saffron in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It's best if you use it within a year of purchase because the taste and color may begin to deteriorate and most to NOTE, saffron is not advisable for pregnant women…  


Cinderella said...

sounds and looks tasty trying this out over the weekend.

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