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1 April 2020
Posted by : Avatar

The name Saffron originates from the Arabic word “Jafran” which derives from “asfar”, that means “yellow”.

It is obtained from bulbs differentiated from the mother one in the autumn after sowing, which then swell during spring. The characteristic smell of the spice comes from a substance called safranal, an aldehyde which is the main constituent of its aromatic essence.

Often, unfortunately, the saffron powder found on the market is prepared from synthetic products, therefore the company’s decision not to pulverize the stigmas we get to offer you the certainty of buying a pure and authentic raw material.

Saffron is a spice that has always been highly appreciated in the culinary field.
Whether in stigmas or powder, it is always capable of giving our dishes an extra special touch.

It may seem less practical to use in its original form, but with a few little tricks the problem will disappear! Just soak the stigmas in water or hot broth, let them rest for at least 30 minutes and then use the extract at will.

Another trick is to put the stigmas on a piece of tin foil and pass the flame of a lighter underneath them. The saffron will lose its minimum moisture content and will be pulverized simply by rubbing it between your fingers. The extraction time, in this way, will be much shorter.

Saffron is a very versatile ingredient: it can be used from appetizer to dessert. Perhaps the best and certainly the most popular combinations can be found with first courses, in particular with “risotto” and “pastasciutta”, but you might be surprised to taste it in combination with vegetables and sauces with a delicate flavour.

Saffron, however, does not only give colour and taste to dishes, but also gives important beneficial properties to people who eat it.

APPETIZERS AND SIDE DISHES

Light saffron beschamel

  1. Put 50 g of flour in a saucepan and dilute it with 200 ml of semi-skimmed milk.
  2. Heat another 300 ml of milk in which you have infused 10 pistils of saffron Mamo. Then add it a little at a time to the prepared batter.
    Stirring continuously, cook the sauce over moderate heat until it has taken on a smooth consistency.
  3. Turn off the heat, season the bechamel with salt and pepper.
    If you want, you can add a small knob of butter.

Croutons with Besciamella with saffron

  1. Prepare bread croutons
  2. Spread the bechamel and add a tablespoon of mushrooms, or artichokes, or zucchini grilled on top.
  3. Let gratin in the oven for a few minutes.

FIRST DISHES

“Chitarra” with “pallottine”, asparagus and saffron
Ingredients for “pallottine” (tiny meatballs, typical dish of the province of Teramo):

  • 250 gr. of minced meat
  • 20 g. of parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt as required
  • nutmeg as you like

Arm yourself with a lot of patience and perhaps the collaboration of some willing helper and form tiny meatballs with a diameter of about half a centimetre or less.

Ingredients for the pasta:

  • 3 eggs
  • 100 gr. of flour 00
  • 200 gr. of semolina flour
  • half a tablespoon of oil
  • salt as required

Place the flour on a pastry board or on a clean table, make a hole in the middle and pour the eggs with a pinch of salt and oil.
Start kneading with a fork, slowly including the flour. If the dough should harden too much you can add a little water.
When the dough has become quite elastic, if you are familiar with the rolling pin, roll out a sheet of dough a few millimeters thick, otherwise use a normal dough machine. The same is for shaping the spaghetti, if you don’t have a guitar (wooden tool with specific strings to create the shape of the pasta) you can use a square sheet cutter. Otherwise, like my grandmother used to do, fold the sheet on itself and cut thin strips with the knife!

Prepare the asparagus:
blanch them in salted water for about 10 minutes then cut them into small pieces.

Preparation of the seasoning:

  1. Put extra virgin olive oil and an unpeeled garlic clove in a pan. When it starts to heat, add the “pallottine” and brown.
    2.Add the asparagus in small pieces and after a few minutes add a cup of hot broth in which you have melted the saffron.
  2. Let it simmer for about fifteen minutes.
    4.In the meantime boil the salted water and then add the pasta. Be careful, the cooking of fresh pasta is very short: 3 or 4 minutes will be enough!
  3. Take the pasta out of the pot and pour it into the pan, stirring a little bit.
    6.Serve the dish still hot with a sprinkling of pecorino or parmesan cheese.

SECOND DISHES

Saffron chicken
Ingredients:

  • 1 kg and a half of chopped chicken
  • 200 ml of double cream
  • Vegetable or meat broth
  • A small glass of cognac or brandy
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • Half a teaspoon of saffron powder
  • Parsley
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Butter
  • salt as required
  1. brown the morsels in a pan with butter and oil. Pour the cognac/brandy and let it evaporate over high heat. Continue cooking for about half an hour, lowering the heat to a minimum. If it dries too much you can add a little hot broth. Add salt as desired and a sprinkling of pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the saffron in the hot broth. Once the chicken is cooked, add the flour and pour a ladleful of broth.
  3. Mix everything together then add the cream and a pinch of chopped parsley. Add salt as needed.
  4. Let the chicken season a few minutes on the stove and then get ready to receive your guests’ compliments!

 

DESSERTS

Saffron cookies
Ingredients

  • 120 gr of butter
  • 1 egg
  • A small glass of rum
  • 0,1 g of ground saffron
  • 300 gr of flour + flour needed for the pastry board
  • 5 gr of bicarbonate
  • raisin as required
  1. Heat the rum a little bit and melt the saffron in it.
  2. Soak the raisin in the prepared rum and leave it to soak for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Mix the soft butter with the brown sugar in a bowl until frothy.
  4. Add the egg and amalgamate with the help of a spatula.
  5. Combine the raisins and rum with your mixture and mix
  6. Gradually incorporate flour and bicarbonate
  7. Transfer the dough to the floured pastry board and knead until it is no longer too sticky
    8.Put the dough into the saran wrap and leave it to rest for about an hour
  8. Spread the dough until it is half a centimetre thick and then make diagonal cuts with the knife to obtain diamond shapes
  9. Transfer the “rhombuses” obtained to the baking tray (I recommend using parchment paper!) 11. Bake in a preheated oven at 180° for about 10 minutes
  10. Transfer the “rhombuses” obtained to the baking tray (I recommend using parchment paper!) Roll out the dough until it is half a centimetre thick and then make diagonal cuts with the knife to obtain diamond shapes.
  11. Transfer the “rhombuses” obtained to the baking tray (I recommend using baking paper!).
  12. Bake in a preheated oven at 180° for about 10 minutes.
    Tip: once they have cooled down, soak the biscuits in melted dark chocolate and let them dry, it will drive your guests crazy!

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