Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Saffron Risotto

With the pile of saffron I have it's time to start cooking up some recipes with saffron as an ingredient. So first up  "easy" saffron risotto. This recipe was suggested by a friend it can be found at Food.com  and adapted from Magnificent 1st Prize Risotto.  
All the ingredients  ready to go

Saffron the star of the show

Saffron soaking in the chicken broth 

Stir, stir, stir and stir some more is the rule for risotto

The finished dish
I say easy but the technique is all in the stirring, stirring, and stirring. I used aborrio rice and threw a handful of pistachios on top at the end for garnish (and because I really like them and they have that  middle eastern touch). So here goes! On a rainy raw fall day this is became a creamy warm comfort food. The weather was cold so standing around the warm stove was not a bad way to spend an hour.

The results: Not as yellow as I wanted but that was probably due to the chicken stock, but it was creamy and hit the spot. Now that I have this big pot of risotto, I know what I will be eating for the week. 

Saffron Risotto


5 cups chicken stock
1 pinch saffron thread (could do without, but adds colour and flavour)
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups risotto rice (could also use short grain sticky rice)
1 cup parmesan cheese

salt and black pepper to taste


1. Bring stock to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.

2.  Ladle a little stock into a small bowl; add the saffron threads and let infuse.

3. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large sauce pan until foaming.

4.  Add onions, stirring frequently, and cook for 2 minutes, then add garlic and 

cook for 1 more minute.

5.  Cook only until softened, not brown.

6. Add the rice and stir until the grains start to swell and burst; then add a few

 ladles of stock, saffron liquid, and salt and pepper to taste.

7. Stir over low heat until liquid has beed absorbed.

8. Keep adding stock, letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more.

9.  STIR CONSTANTLY Test frequently just for the hell of it!

10.  After about 20-25 minutes, the rice should be just tender and the

 risoto golden and creamy.

11.  Take off heat and add 2/3 cup parmesan cheese and remaining

 1 tablespoon butter, mixing until butter has melted.

12.  Season to taste.

13.  Transfer to serving plates and serve hot.

14.  Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/magnificent-1st-prize-risotto-32295?oc=linkback

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Golden Threads of Saffron

When I say saffron you say expensive. These little red threads come in the smallest of packages for the largest amount of money. And when I say the Middle East do you think rugs, gold, and  other goodies? Because that's what I thought when the hubster was deployed to the Middle East. Those items are on my wish list just like most travelers to this part of the world. When asked what I wanted, I wanted saffron (OK, I really do want a rug or two and some gold).  Having been conditioned to the small amounts of what we buy in the western world I was in shock and awe at what came out of this of the priority envelope from the hubster.  Wrapped in the comics that I had sent weeks before were two plastic containers of the red threads that are as precious as gold. My eyes bugged out--like a cartoon character!  So now what?  I divided up the one container in small parcels (think drug dealers)  and took it work to share with co-workers. One colleague suggested I sell it and then I could retire. With one container left I was stymied, so I did what one really tech savvy person would do and put it on social media asking my friends for recipes. I received many so now I have a project to work on. I decided to start out with easy ones like saffron risotto and work up to paella and Moroccan dishes as well as well as dishes from Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
I have several more containers coming in the mail. Just how much saffron can one person accumulate  in one year? We'll see. If I am retired in a year you'll know how much saffron I received!

Monday, October 1, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This is a re post, as this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I made these cookies last year and during the month I will make again this year.

The pink ribbon cookie is my tribute to honor to those who have been touched by breast cancer. I made these cookies to honor my co-worker Gwen Leighty, who didn't win her fight with breast cancer.