Saffron, believe it or not is the most expensive spice around. The cost translates to thousands of dollars per pound. Taking this in mind, when you use saffron in recipes only a pinch is needed to fulfill the flavor, color and aroma desired in rice or any other dish being prepared.
The stigma in the fall flowering crocus is where saffron comes from. Inside the flower are threadlike filaments called stigma. When saffron is being harvested from the saffron crocus its expense rises because of the labor involved in this particular crop is quite intensive. Only 5-7 pounds of saffron are actually produced from each acre of land they are grown on. Ergo, between the small amounts of crop harvested, the intensive labor involved to reap this crop you can see how it is known and came to be the most expensive spice in the world.
Remember a little goes a long way so much so that a single gram of saffron can produce 10 recipes of saffron rice, a couple large pans of paella as well as several batches of bread. No other spice in the world can stretch itself to this extreme or be as effective in cooking as saffron.
Now let’s create a side dish that is full of flavor, color and an aroma that is unlike any other rice dish – saffron rice!
- 1 cup of long grain white rice
- 2 cups of water or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of minced onion
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 small pinch of saffron, crumbled
- In a large fry pan melt the butter.
- Then add in the minced onion and sauté over a medium flame until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the rice, saffron, chicken stock and salt to the pan and stir.
- Bring the rice mixture to a rolling boil.
- Cover the pan and reduce the flame to a simmer and cook until the rice is tender and all the fluid is absorbed into the rice which should take approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer the saffron rice to a platter or bowl and serve while hot.
© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved