How to Cook with Saffron
Using any spice in your dishes can make that dish taste better. However, if you use certain spices, you can make your meal healthier too. One good example of a healthy and tasty spice that you can use in a variety ways is saffron. In this article, we will show you how to cook with saffron.
1. Crushing/grinding threads
Just like in the case of other spices, it is the best idea to find a way to release the full potential of saffron whenever you are adding it to your dish. One of the best ways to this is to crush the threads of this incredible spice. Saffron threads are gentle, so you can do this manually without much effort. In case you want to get a more uniform look then don’t hesitate to use a mortar and pestle to grind the saffron threads.
To ensure your saffron brightens your dish, you need to make sure you take the proper steps to release its flavor and color. The quickest way to do that is to break down the threads into a powder. Crushing saffron for use in recipes typically works best if you’re making a recipe that already has water or another cooking liquid in it, such as risotto or paella.
Keep in mind that crushing saffron by hand or with a mortar and pestle doesn’t offer the most aesthetic when adding to your dish. Grinding the saffron will however intensify the golden color and release more of its aroma
The most effective way to draw the flavor and color out of saffron is to infuse it in hot liquid. You essentially want to soak the saffron threads thoroughly before adding them to your recipe. With this step you can either grind the saffron down and then pour the hot liquid over it or just submerge the whole threads.
In most cases, letting it sit in a small amount of hot liquid for 10 to 20 minutes is enough to prepare the saffron but we prefer overnight to really intensify the true flavor and aroma.
3. Crumbling and adding saffron
Without any doubt, this is the simplest way to use saffron in cooking activities. Just crumble and add the threads of this incredible spice directly to any dish while you are still cooking. Remember that this method is used in dishes that require relatively large quantities of water or another kind of liquid.
Now here’s an example of a method of cooking with saffron that is becoming more and more popular. Namely, there are many people who are toasting saffron and they are usually doing this when preparing paella dishes. If you want to toast the threads you should put a cast iron skillet on medium heat on your stove. Put the saffron threads and cook for no more than two minutes, Remember to stir the mixture continuously. After that, cool the threads and grind the saffron with the help of a mortar and pestle. You can use the powdered saffron directly to the dish or soak it and use it after that.
Preparing Saffron drinks
Another popular method of using saffron is by infusing it into hot water. Simply mix the saffron threads (10-15) with half a cup of boiled water in a teapot. Wait until the liquid gets cold and add boiled water to the top of the teapot. You can add lemon or honey to taste. This saffron tea has proven to be very helpful for those suffering from anxiety and depression, inflammation and various diseases caused by free radical damage.
Try a glass of saffron milk
Start by boiling 500 ml of milk. Next, add two tablespoons of honey, a quarter teaspoon of ground cardamom, two tablespoons of sliced almonds and a quarter teaspoon of saffron threads. Let it simmer for about five minutes. Drink this healthy beverage while it’s still hot.Cooking with saffron is easy and you can definitely unleash your creativity when using saffron in the kitchen. The best part is that no matter how you use saffron, you will still enjoy its benefits.