"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-15-2012, 09:15 PM   #1
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
ISO saffron suggestions (rice?)

I had meant to try saffron in my cooking a couple years ago, but somehow I got sidetracked. I have 0.02 oz. Trader Joe's Spanish saffron (threads). I'm worried about that all spices gradually use their potency and flavor with time, and I think I should use my saffron ASAP.

Can anybody give me some simple starter recipes using saffron? Maybe just plain saffron rice? Or maybe a bit more complex than that, but I'll prefer a recipe that doesn't require a lot of buying ingredients. I want to start out simple.

Your ideas? TIA

__________________

Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2012, 09:21 PM   #2
Head Chef
 
merstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,002
It's great in rice or couscous - the best way to use it is to soak it in hot water or broth first, then use that as part of your liquid measurement.

Saffron is also great in seafood and chicken recipes, paella, etc. I use it when making steamed mussels with butter, shallots, garlic, and dry white wine.
__________________

__________________
"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces."
merstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2012, 09:43 PM   #3
Head Chef
 
GLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Near Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,216
It's at its best in paella, especially if you use the right rice. Bomba is probably best. But other medium grain rices work, like arborio that's easier to find. .

A paella doesn't take many ingredients. You've probably already got most of it, paprika, garlic and tomatoes. Sort of a backward rissoto. Cook the garlic, tomato, whatever greens you want, and shrimp of chicken with paprika and saffron to make a stock and reduce it to concentrate the flavor, and then add the rice and simmer untouched and uncovered until all the free stock is absorbed. That absorption is what proper paella rices are good at. (Over an open wood fire, is nice too. Gives it a touch of smoke.) You cook it over a burner or fire, because you want the important crispy layer on the bottom. Nothing fancy. The dish began as a meal to fix in the field with whatever small meat wasn't fast enough to escape.
__________________
"Kitchen duty is awarded only to those of manifest excellence..." - The Master, Dogen
GLC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2012, 10:26 PM   #4
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,514
Risotto Milanese.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2012, 10:39 PM   #5
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
I have my own paella recipe that used to be great except that it relied on a package rice ingredient, Uncle Ben's brown rice. I've never been able to reproduce the recipe since UB terminated the product, although my many guests said they loved it. It didn't use saffron. (That's one reason I hate brand ingredients. If they withdraw it then your recipe is killed.)

Is there just a simple saffron rice recipe that anybody could recommend? That might be a good starting point for me to appreciate saffron without complicating and confounding ingredients.
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2012, 10:46 PM   #6
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,514
Parmesan & Saffron Risotto


6-8 C Chicken Stock
4 Tb Butter, divided
1 C Onion - minced
1 C Arborio Rice
C White Wine
tsp Saffron Threads
1 C Parmesan Cheese

Heat the stock to a simmer and maintain at that temperature during the cooking process.

In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and sweat the onions for about 10 minutes over low heat.

Add the rice and stir to coat the rice with the melted butter. Cook for a few minutes.

Add the wine and reduce until almost dry.

Add a cup of the stock and stir frequently while boiling gently.

When the stock is almost absorbed, add another half cup and continue to cook, stirring frequently.

Continue adding the stock a half-cup at a time and cooking for about 20 to 25 minutes.

In the last 10 minutes, add the saffron and stir in.

When the rice is tender and creamy, add 2T of butter and the cheese.

Mix in and serve.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 12:13 AM   #7
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
Thanks Andy, that's getting close. I have all that stuff except the specific rice. Does it require Arborio or can I substitute another rice? I favor long grain rice...

I had thought you should soak your saffron in water or some other liquid for use...

Is there a basic saffron rice or is your suggested recipe it?
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 12:27 AM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 21,539
since saffron id delicate as well as expensive, using it in simple dishes that have other delicate ingredients is the way to go.

besides paella, saffron scalliops comes to mind. or saffron scrambled eggs.
__________________
The past is gone it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things
buckytom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 12:33 AM   #9
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
Yeah but I already bought it and I'm worrying that it will lose its taste before I use it. Price really isn't that important now, and TJ's has good prices anyway. Probably didn't cost over $20-$30... (That's a joke, it was probably about $4-$5. Looks like enough for about 3-5 dishes.)

I'm tempted to try Andy's recipe. I could add shrimp to that and make it a one dish recipe, right? Maybe throw in some peas and carrots? Carrots sooner and peas towards the end maybe? Saute the shrimp and set aside before starting the risotto, then return them to the dish midway?
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 12:37 AM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 21,539
lol, if it already lost it's taste, then it wouldn't be any better in any recipe.

i've gotta stop trying to be helpful and just be a wise ass.
__________________
The past is gone it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things
buckytom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 01:05 AM   #11
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
BT at least I hope you aren't in charge of a nuclear plant.

I haven't had much experience with risotto. My one recent experience at a restaurant indicated that they didn't know how to cook it, since it was grainy and hard, much harder than rice.

I've been meaning to explore making risotto. I think I could probably make Andy's recipe particularly if I added some shrimp and vegetables. That would work, right?

I guess Arborio is short grain rice. I've always liked long grain better but I guess I better look for some Arborio.

Somebody please tell me if my recipe sounds workable regarding sauteing the shrimp, set aside, then follow Andy's recipe and add the shrimp mid way, maybe carrots sooner and peas later. Or would that be an abomination?
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 01:48 AM   #12
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
BT at least I hope you aren't in charge of a nuclear plant.

I haven't had much experience with risotto. My one recent experience at a restaurant indicated that they didn't know how to cook it, since it was grainy and hard, much harder than rice.

I've been meaning to explore making risotto. I think I could probably make Andy's recipe particularly if I added some shrimp and vegetables. That would work, right?

I guess Arborio is short grain rice. I've always liked long grain better but I guess I better look for some Arborio.

Somebody please tell me if my recipe sounds workable regarding sauteing the shrimp, set aside, then follow Andy's recipe and add the shrimp mid way, maybe carrots sooner and peas later. Or would that be an abomination?
I would add the shrimp towards the end of the cooking. Cooking them first, removing them and later putting them back in will just expose them to more heat. And it is the extra unneeded heat that makes them tough. Cook them once at the end. Anytime I have seen paella made on TV, seafood is always added at the end.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 03:19 AM   #13
Executive Chef
 
Bolas De Fraile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,191
GG Valencia paella is my fav Freelance Spain -* "Paella Where It Grows" by Janet Mendel
__________________
I was married by a judge, I should have asked for a jury.
Bolas De Fraile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 05:03 AM   #14
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,970
Andy's recipe is pretty much how I would do it. I couldn't get arborio rice when I first moved here, eventually found Calrose, which was the short grain rice of choice when I lived in Hawaii. I cannot emphasize enough his instruction on making sure your stock/broth is kept hot through the process.

Long-grain rice, to me, is meant to be fluffy. This is not a fluffy dish, it is a creamy one. If you try to use long-grain to make risotto, chanced are pretty good you'll wind up with rice mush. It isn't sturdy enough to get that creamy outer layer, firm inner layer.
Claire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 06:51 AM   #15
Executive Chef
 
justplainbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,206
I like the soccarat from rice made with Goya's Valencia medium grain rice.
justplainbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 06:54 AM   #16
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,514
GG, risotto requires a short grain rice to make the creamy 'sauce'. If not arborio, carnaroli.

If you're going to add shrimp, I'd make the risotto and add the cooked shrimp on top when you serve it. If any veggies are cooked, just stir them in at the end.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 11:27 AM   #17
Master Chef
 
FrankZ's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 9,747
And you can get the arborio at Trader Joe.
__________________
"First you start with a pound of bologna..."
-My Grandmother on how to make ham salad.
FrankZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 12:04 PM   #18
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I guess Arborio is short grain rice. I've always liked long grain better but I guess I better look for some Arborio
The hallmark of good Risotto is not only creaminess, but texture that has a little bit of an al dente byte. In other words, it shouldn't be mush. The reason Arborio is used for Risotto is because it has an unusually high starch content, which is what gives the dish its creaminess. But it also has a hard center that helps keep it from turning to goo. You can substitute any short or medium grain rice, and get decent results, but it won't be exactly the same. Sushi rice isn't a bad substitute, either. I wouldn't use long grain, though. It will turn to mush and never develop the creamy characteristic.

I've had a lot of bad restaurant Risotto. I think some of that comes from the fact that, unless they have some knowledge of Italian cuisine, many chefs just don't understand what defines good Risotto, that is, the combined creamy and al dente qualities. It also doesn't help that restaurants often leave food sitting under a heat lamp. Risotto must be served as soon as it comes out of the pan, or it'll quickly turn into a semi-solid mass on the plate.

Risotto has a reputation for being difficult to make, but really isn't if you start with the right ingredients and follow the technique in Andy's recipe above.

By the way, Goya makes an Arborio rice that I see in grocery stores a lot. It's not always in the rice section, though. Sometimes you'll find it in the section of the store where they sell packaged side dishes.
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 12:44 PM   #19
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
I think the restaurant I had risotto at didn't know you need to keep stirring it. I think they just let it sit on the burner for periods, although I did not watch them cook it. Lots of the grains were insufficiently cooked and had a crunchy texture.
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 12:46 PM   #20
Head Chef
 
GLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Near Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I have my own paella recipe that used to be great except that it relied on a package rice ingredient, Uncle Ben's brown rice. I've never been able to reproduce the recipe since UB terminated the product, although my many guests said they loved it.
Did they really? It's not on their web site, but it shows up on Costco's web site in 25 pound bags.

Now that's an odd thing. American's never seem to have gotten very enthusiastic about parboiled rice, although parboiling is done while the rice is whole (brown) and locks in nearly the same nutrients as whole brown rice, albeit with zero fiber once it's milled to white.

I guess that for consumers, parboiling rice and leaving it whole, brown that is, wasn't much a promotable product. Brown rice is better nutriently. Parboiled white rice is nearly as good nutriently. So how do you hype parboiled brown rice? It does cook quicker than regular brown rice. I guess that wasn't enough, and they wanted to promote brown Ready Rice.

But I suspect it still appears, as apparently at Costco, in institutional bags, because parboiled rice generally says firmer, which is nice for institutional situation where it sits hot for a long time and probably why it appeared in a rissoto recipe. It would hold up better, getting less mushy. But I would think parboiled white, plain Uncle Ben's would suffice, too. Or you can eat a LOT of brown rice. In fact, parboiled rice is the recommended alternative in paella when short grain can't be had. It's much more popular in Asia, maybe again because it stays firmer, and they more often cook the whole days rice up in the morning.
__________________

__________________
"Kitchen duty is awarded only to those of manifest excellence..." - The Master, Dogen
GLC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
rice

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×