Have you ever cooked with saffron? Most of us would answer, no. I remember when I was single, working in Miami and wanting to make some basmati rice with saffron. I didn’t have any saffron in my pitiful bachelorette kitchen, so I went to the Whole Foods Market next to my place to buy some. My eyeballs popped out of my head when I saw a small jar with like 10 threads of saffron selling for $20! Luckily, my mother ended up giving me some saffron the next time I saw her, but I will never forget that day in the market.
Did I buy the saffron? No, I did not. I wasn’t making enough money at the time to splurge $20 just for a spice. That was my weekly grocery budget!
Today, I am lucky to have a cupboard filled with saffron. My main source of saffron is from family and friends who visit us from Iran, bringing small gifts of this glorious spice. I learned early on how to cook with saffron. But for those of you who are rightfully intimidated with this expensive spice, I have these pointers for you.
How to Cook with Saffron:
- If you can, use only saffron threads and grind it yourself using a mortar and pestle. Already ground saffron typically has additives mixed in and uses cheaper quality saffron.
- Keep your saffron in a sealed container and store in a cool dark place.
- A little bit of good quality saffron goes a long way!
- Add your ground saffron to a hot liquid and steep to develop it’s rich orange color. You can add it to hot water, hot oil, melted butter or any other warm liquid.
Take an ordinary roast chicken and make it extraordinary. Grind a little saffron, add it to melted butter, brush it over your chicken and you end up with a very special golden bird. Click here for the full recipe for Roast Chicken with Saffron Butter.
Saffron isn’t just for paella. Add it to your ice cream, your cookies, your cake, your potatoes, your fish, and even your rice. For more saffron recipes and inspiration, click here!
This Giveaway is now CLOSED!
And now, let’s talk about FREE SAFFRON!
I am giving away 5 packages of Top-Grade Iranian ‘Sargol’ Saffron (5 grams each) to 5 lucky readers! I was sent some Sargol Saffron from The SaffShop to sample. It was inspected and sniffed by my mother-in-law, a few aunts and some cousins. In fact, we had a nice 1 hour discussion about saffron. They all agreed that this really is top-quality saffron. The threads are dark red, the aroma is AMAZING, and 5-grams is plenty of saffron to keep you busy for all of 2013! This giveaway is open to U.S. and international residents alike!!!
What do you have to do?
1. Leave a comment below telling me what you would make with your free saffron.
For additional entries to win, please do the following:
2. Like the Saffshop on Facebook, and tell me in a comment here.
3. Follow the Saffshop on Twitter, and tell me in a comment here.
4. Tweet about the giveaway: 5 lucky winners can win 5-grams of saffron from @saffshop and @familyspice!!! http://su.pr/2rFAFQ ***Be sure to tell me about your tweet in a comment here.***
Happy holidays and good luck to you all!
Disclosure: The SaffShop sent me 5-grams of Sargol Saffron to review and giveaway on my blog. Contest ends 12/31/2012 and winner will be announced 1/1/2013. I was NOT compensated in any other way for this post and the opinions I expressed here are mine. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about!