Saffron - properties and application in cooking. Recipes dishes with saffron.

Saffron - properties and application in cooking. Recipes dishes with saffron.

Saffron - Description

If you have a box of saffron in your kitchen, you are incredibly lucky, because you have become the owner of real wealth. In the literal and figurative sense. Firstly, the cost of saffron is more expensive than gold, it is the only spice that has not fallen in price for two thousand years, it has remained worth its weight in gold. And secondly, it is a very valuable and useful seasoning in the kitchen. 1 g of saffron contains about 400-450 threads. For cooking one dish, for example, pilau, you will need from 3 to 6 stuff. So it will be enough for a long time. True saffron is not stored for too long, because its color becomes paler, the flavor is weaker, and the taste is reduced.

Saffron, or as it is called, crocus, is cultivated in India, Greece, France, Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, China, and the USA. But the largest plantations are in Spain, which is the largest supplier of this spice. There are several types of crocus. The most valuable and expensive is considered Kashmir, cultivated in India. It has a dark red color and has a very rich taste. It is followed by a Spanish crocus, which has two varieties - Coupe and Superior. The first is valued more, because only the upper parts of the stigma of the flower, which have a darker color and a pronounced taste, are collected. The third place of honor belongs to the Iranian saffron. It is more popular because considered the most inexpensive.

Growing and harvesting saffron is quite laborious. Gather it by hand during flowering, at dawn, until the sun has fully risen. Rip off the flowers, and then the stigmas of the pistils are also manually cut from them. When they dry, they look like thin strings. Continuous massive flowering of crocus is about two weeks, each flower blooms two or three days and dries. The collection is made on the first day of flowering bud. To get a kilo of spices, you need to collect about 150,000 flowers. From one field in one acre it is possible to collect no more than four or five kilograms of saffron. Crocuses grow three to four years in one place, then the plantation needs to be renewed and new bulbs planted.

Saffron - properties

Regular consumption of saffron allows you to maintain the body in good shape, relieves ailments such as headache, cramps, insomnia, asthma, colds, inflammation. Crocus produces “the hormone of joy” - serotonin. Therefore, it is recommended to take with melancholy, depression, depressed state. Saffron helps to cleanse the kidneys, liver, lymph, reduce hunger, normalizes digestion, increases potency, improves complexion, smoothes the skin. Take it in very small doses. Excess saffron can lead to poisoning, severe nervous excitement, even death. The truth for this is to take two to three grams of spice in its pure form. Crocus is contraindicated in pregnancy, hypertension, diabetes.

Saffron - use in cooking

In cooking, saffron is valued for its amazing taste, no smell and the ability to impart a noble golden color to the dish. This seasoning is an individualist who does not tolerate the presence of neighbors; therefore, it is never used in combination with other spices. Its taste and aroma is so rich that it is not required. Saffron is added to the dough, meat, fish, desserts, first and second courses, drinks, milk. The main thing is not to be mistaken with the dosage. Crocus can both enrich and decorate any dish, and irreversibly spoil it, if you put it in excess.

To navigate the value of this saffron, you need to know the market price of gold. So crocus will be more expensive. This saffron is a dark maroon-brown thread, unlike a fake crocus - Imeretinsky, which has an orange or dark yellow color. This saffron powder has a dark red color. Often try to give him turmeric. You can distinguish it by a light yellow color.

Sample Recipes with Saffron

Recipe 1: Sausage Stewed Cabbage

Ingredients: 0.5 kg of chicken hearts or ventricles, 1 bell pepper, a large head of cabbage (2 kg), 2 medium-sized onions, 3 cloves of garlic, salt, 4 tables. lie vegetable oil, 2-3 tea. Saffron leaves (marigold) or 4-5 threads of this crocus. Method of preparation

Each ventricle is cut into three or four pieces and put out for twenty-five minutes in oil in a saucepan over low heat. Stir periodically. While the meat is stewing, cut the vegetables: garlic into slices, onion in half rings, Bulgarian pepper and cabbage into small squares.

Add saffron, onion, pepper and garlic to the prepared ventricles or hearts. Fry for five to seven minutes, adding fire. Put cabbage to the meat, pour in a glass of water, salt and simmer over high heat for twenty minutes. Periodically interfere with the contents. When you feel the divine aroma of saffron in about fifteen minutes, you will realize that you have not wasted your time.

Recipe 2: Sausages stewed with saffron

For cooking, you can take any sausages - sausages, wieners, doctor sausage. Ingredients are designed for two portions. This dish is already garnished. Cooked for dinner or lunch, it will quickly quench your hunger, lift your spirits and deliver a taste delight.

Ingredients: 300g sausages, 2-3 strings of saffron, 1 large onion, 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, 2 potatoes, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, 50g of fresh or frozen green peas, 200ml broth.

Method of preparation

Put crocus threads in a spoonful of warm water and soak them. Chop sausages randomly, fry and put in the bowl for a while.

In the same oil, fry the onion, add chopped garlic and hold in the pan for another minute. Put sliced ​​potatoes here, fry for five minutes. Pour in broth, saffron solution and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. Now it remains to add sausages, peas, pepper, salt and boil for a minute or two.

Recipe 3: Saffron Cookies

The biscuit has an amazing rich lemon color and an unmatched taste. And most importantly, it is prepared very quickly, which is very important for baking. If real expensive saffron is used, only a few strings will be needed - 4-5. If the cheaper option is Imeretinsky or Alatava crocus, then take 1/4 tsp. Ingredients: powdered sugar - 3/4 stack, flour - 1.5 stack, 2 yolks, 4 tbsp. ghee or butter, tables. spoon of rum or brandy, 1/4 tsp. saffron.

Method of preparation

Add crocus to cognac and stir. Mix the yolks with powdered sugar with a mixer, pour in saffron cognac and beat again. Add flour and add softened butter. Knead the dough. Its consistency should be gentle, not tight. It may even stick slightly to your hands.

Roll the balls from the dough with apricot and put it on a baking sheet. Press each ball with a fork so that it flattens and leaves traces and grooves and bake for seven to ten minutes (180C). Little suns are ready!

Saffron - useful tips from experienced chefs

- Saffron has one drawback - it is often faked. To distinguish the original, you must drop a thread or a few grains of crocus in warm water or milk. If the liquid instantly turns yellow, it's a fake. A real saffron needs about ten to fifteen minutes so that it turns the water golden and begins to exude a scent.

- If saffron is added to baking, it is put while mixing the dough, in other cases it is added no earlier than four to five minutes before the end of cooking.

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