Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saffron Risotto - Weekend Recipe

This time of year when the crocus blooms, my thoughts always turn to saffron.  the most expensive spice, it is usually sold by the gram - just a small cluster of slender red threads in a tiny glass bottle. The good news is the strength of the flavor is such that you need very little to make a flavorful dish.
Saffron is an herb the comes from the stamen of saffron crocus.  They must be harvested by hand and as a result are very expensive.  The saffron, sometimes called saffron threads because of the overall shape, is sold for as much as $150.00 an ounce.  Considered

Risotto made with saffron is a great side for and fish dish as well as lightly sautéed or poached chicken.

Saffron Risotto
Serves 6

1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup uncooked regular rice
3 Tbls. butter or margarine
½ tsp. crushed saffron
½ cup boiling water
1 Tbls. instant chicken bouillon
2 Cups boiling water
½ cup dry white wine
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook rice and onion in butter in a large skillet over medium heat until rice is golden, about 5 minutes.  While onion and rice are cooking, soak saffron in ½ cup boiling water for 5 minutes.  Dissolve bouillon in 2 cups boiling water.  Stir bouillon, wine, saffron, and water mixture, salt and pepper into skillet.  Heat until boiling, reduce heat.  Simmer covered until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.  Toss with Parmesan cheese.

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