How to use Saffron
The most effective way to draw out the colour and flavour of saffron is to steep the saffron threads in a little warm water, stock, milk or white wine for about 30 minutes before using.
Soaking the saffron before adding it to your recipe is the best way to ensure that it’s distributed evenly throughout the dish.
You can usually tell that your saffron has soaked long enough when the liquid gives off a strong sweet, straw like aroma and the liquid has changed to a beer like colour.
Flavours that complement SAffron
ORANGE - CARDAMOM - HONEY - VANILLA BEAN - CINNAMON - GARLIC - FENNEL - GINGER -
SMOKED PAPRIKA - TURMERIC - ROSEWATER
SQUIRREL GULLY SPRITZ
A spritz is an Italian wine-based cocktail, commonly served as an aperitif.
If you enjoy entertaining, keep a tray of these Saffron flavoured icecubes handy in the freezer.
To make the ice cubes:
Make a basic sugar syrup using the ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part sugar. Bring this liquid to the boil, ensuring that all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Remove from the heat, add 4-5 strands of Squirrel Gully Saffron and a hint of orange zest. Allow this mixture to cool in ice cube trays and freeze overnight.
Once the ice cubes are frozen, simply pour over 60ml Prosecco, 30ml Aperol and a splash of Soda water.
Cheers everyone !
KAREN MARTINI’S SYRIAN CHICKEN WITH SAFFRON
Serves: 4 people
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1.4–1.6 kg chicken, cut into 8 pieces
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 brown onions, thickly sliced
100 grams ginger, cut into matchsticks
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
2 small red chillies, split
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 pinches Squirrel Gully Saffron threads
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons honey
100 grams currants
2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder
½ bunch coriander, leaves only
couscous or rice, to serve
Combine the salt, cumin, cinnamon, pepper and turmeric in a large plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces and shake to coat.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, adding a little more oil, if necessary. Add the tomatoes, saffron, cumin seeds and thyme and cook for 2 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pan and add the lemon juice and zest, honey, currants, stock powder and enough water to just cover the chicken.Cover with a lid and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through, and the sauce is slightly reduced.
Stir in the coriander and serve with couscous or rice.
SAFFRON and Orange Blossom Pannacotta
Serves: 4 people
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water
- 1 sheet gelatin (7 g )
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Small pinch Squirrel Gully Saffron
- 2 pieces of orange peel, pith removed
- 1 Tbsp Orange blossom water
Soak the gelatin sheet in ¼ cup cold water for 5 mins to soften
In a saucepan, heat cream, sugar, saffron, orange blossom water and orange peel on medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Stir in the softened gelatin sheet and immediately whisk until smooth and dissolved. If the gelatin hasn’t fully dissolved, return the saucepan to the stove and heat gently over low heat. Stir constantly and don’t let the mixture boil. Remove the orange peel and saffron with a sieve.
Pour the cream mixture into 4 individual serving dishes. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until completely set.
SAFFRON AND PISTACHIO NOUGAT
Nougat makes a great gluten free petite four to end an evening
- 100 mg Squirrel Gully Saffron infused in 100 mls of hot water for at least one hour.
- 1 & 1/3 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 egg whites
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup of toasted Pistachios, chopped
- 2 sheets of confectioners rice paper, (available online)
An electric mixer with whisk attachment
Line the bottom of a rectangular cake tin with baking paper and spray the edges with cooking oil to prevent the nougat from sticking to the sides of your cake tin. Lay one sheet of confectioners rice paper on the bottom of the tin, save one sheet for the top.
Strain the saffron threads from the saffron liquid .Retain the threads, they will be added back to the nougat mix later. Place the sugar, honey and saffron liquid in a pot. Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar, then turn up the heat and bring the sugar mix to 135.C. Use your thermometer to measure the temp accurately.
While your sugar mix is heating, whisk your egg whites with a pinch of salt until they reach soft peak stage...... Once the sugar has reached the required temp, gradually pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream into the egg whites while the mixer is running. Continue whisking as the mixture cools. After 6 mins of whisking the nougat will be thick and smooth.
Fold in the saffron threads and chopped pistachios. Transfer nougat into your prepared cake pan, spread into a thick layer. Top with second sheet of rice paper and smooth into an even slab. Let stand at room temperature for approx 4 hrs to set.... Once set, remove from pan and cut into pieces using a sharp knife.
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