Tag: Saffron

Friday Finds 7:26:13

Another whammy of a week. I’ll tell you more about it when the dust has settled. Who knows when that’ll be. All I know is, sometimes life gives you lemons, and you can’t even see that they’re lemons, you think they’re just these ugly sour things. And even though you know that you could potentially make lemonade out of them, you’re just not quite sure how to go about it, and what recipe to use, or if you should even use a recipe at all. Right now, I’m working on writing my own recipe, I guess. Here’s to hoping it’s delicious. Now, onto the Friday Finds.

1. Green Smoothies

Green Machine Smoothie from What's Gaby Cooking // Friday Finds on Serious Crust, by Annie Fassler
Green Machine Smoothie from What’s Gaby Cooking // Friday Finds

There’s a juice and smoothie cart in Portland called Sip, and it has this smoothie called Tropical Greens that I am so in love with. The thing about Sip is that because it’s all local seasonal organic etc. these smoothies don’t come cheap. So I need to start making my own. This one on What’s Gaby Cooking looks pretty similar to the one I’ve been buying on a regular basis for over a year now. Let’s see if it lives up to its inspiration…

2. Egg Yolk Ravioli

Egg Yolk Ravioli from Licking the Plate // Friday Finds on Serious Crust, by Annie Fassler
Egg Yolk Ravioli from Licking the Plate // Friday Finds

I mean, come on, does that not look like one of the most beautiful things you could eat? First, it’s fresh ravioli. Second, it has a runny egg yolk. Third, there is a MAGICAL RUNNY EGG YOLK INSIDE OF YOUR FRESH RAVIOLI. Find the recipe (and some beautiful photos) over here on Licking the Plate.

3. Avocado and Cajun Seasoning

Yum: avocado with cajun seasoning // Friday Finds on Serious Crust, by Annie Fassler
Yum: avocado with cajun seasoning // Friday Finds

My roommate Carmelle has turned me on to my new favorite snack: half an avocado, sliced, and sprinkled with some King Cajun Cream Seasoning. It’s filling, full of healthy fats, and tastes dang good.

4. Passionfruit Butter

Passion Butter from Cook Republic // Friday Finds on Serious Crust, by Annie Fassler
Passion Butter from Cook Republic // Friday Finds

If I knew where to find fresh passionfruit, I would immediately be so all over this recipe on Cook Republic (which, if you haven’t discovered yet, get your butt over there). I love citrus curd, and passionfruit is no exception. My sisters and I have always been big fans of the little wrinkly fruit. When my little sister and I spent a month in Vietnam one summer, our host mom found out that Molly really liked passionfruit, and so bought bags of it fresh from the market and would make us fresh squeezed passionfruit juice every morning. Nothing can really compare to that, but this curd looks almost as delicious.

5. Flavor Combination: Saffron and Raspberry

Saffron Raspberries from 101 Cookbooks // Friday Finds on Serious Crust, by Annie Fassler
Saffron Raspberries from 101 Cookbooks // Friday Finds

This recipe on 101 Cookbooks for Saffron Raspberries looks really interesting, and got me thinking about the flavor combination. It’s really intriguing to me, and I’m thinking it might make a good ice cream or something like that… Any ideas on how to combine the two? Savory? Sweet? In a pie? A sauce for chicken? I’d love to try a few possibilities!

Saffron Risotto with Mushrooms

Saffron Risotto with Mushrooms // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Jonah and I recently purchased The Family Meal by Ferran Adria. As soon as we got it in the mail, Jonah proceeded to look at the whole book, page by page, cover to cover. Which was really adorable. He was pretty excited. Anyway, a couple days later, I finally got it out and flipped through it, and I too got really excited. There are so many awesome recipes in this book, and the layout is great. It tells you the timeline of your meal (2 hours before, you can start doing task #1, 1 hour before, you can start doing tasks #2 and 3, 40 minutes before… you get the idea), it tells you how much of each ingredient you will need to make the meal for 2 people, 6 people, 20 people, and 75 people. So we can perfectly cook for just the two of us, or we can cook for us and a bunch of friends. Lastly, the recipe itself is in photograph form, so you know exactly what each step looks like, which is such a big thing for a lot of people. And it has super specific instructions, i.e. instead of saying “cook until lightly browned” it says “cook for 16 minutes.” Which is so nice.

Anyway, while flipping through it for the first time, we marked a bunch of the recipes we wanted to try first, and then went to the store to pick up ingredients for a couple meals this week. The coolest thing was that because we had bought a chicken at the farmers market a couple weeks ago, cut it into pieces, frozen the pieces, and made broth out of the carcass, we had almost all of the ingredients we needed for these meals. First up was saffron risotto with mushrooms. I have never made risotto before, and was a bit nervous about it, because it’s one of those things that seems like it might be easy to mess up – overcook, undercook, underseason, overseason… etc. But because the instructions for these recipes are so specific, I had no fear!

Saffron Risotto with Mushrooms

Serves 2


2 1/2 cups chicken stock (can be replaced with vegetable stock)
1 pinch saffron strands
1 1/2 Tbl olive oil
1/4 white onion, finely chopped
2 Tbl white wine
1 cup risotto rice, also called arborio rice
2-6 white mushrooms (it all depends on how big your mushrooms are and how many you want on your risotto)
1 tsp butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp (maybe more) fresh lemon juice


Put all of the stock into a sauce pan, cover, and bring to a simmer.

This is the weird part, where I wish you could see the cookbook so you could see the photos. Make a little envelope out of tinfoil, put the saffron threads in it, and toast them in a pan over medium heat for one minute. Don’t le it burn! Remove from the pan and let it cool.

In a large pan or pot, heat the oil over medium heat, then add the onions. Once they’re soft, but not browned, add the wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When most of the wine has cooked off, add the rice and let it cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the while. Add one ladle-full of stock, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often to keep it from sticking. Pour the rest of the stock into the pot. Quickly chop the saffron and add it to the pot. Cook the rice for 16 minutes (what precision!), stirring frequently.

While the rice is cooking away, wipe the mushrooms clean with a paper towel, and slice them as thin as you can. You can use a mandolin if you’ve got one, or just a sharp knife. Put them in a bowl and set aside.

When the rice has absorbed the majority of the liquid and is a little al dente, add the butter, and then the parmesan. Stir until the rice is nice and creamy, and season it with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Spoon the risotto onto plates and top with mushroom slices, and enjoy!


Shakshuka for breakfast! Looks amazing.

I have discovered possibly the best Israeli-inspired brunch dish of all time. You think that’s a really specific category? It’s not. I know this because I now have two whole cookbooks from chef Yotam Ottolenghi (“Plenty” and “Jerusalem”). Born and raised in, guess where, Jerusalem, Ottolenghi moved to London in 1998 where he has a deli chain and a restaurant (or two… I’m not positive). Anyway, last year, my mom gave Jonah “Plenty” for his birthday, and while the pictures are absolutely beautiful and the food looks delicious, the recipes are a little intimidating. Lots of kind of obscure ingredients like muscovado sugar and tamarind paste and harissa. So we made maybe one or two things from it. But in the last year, we have grown much more ambitious in the kitchen, so when I was in Berkeley visiting my sister and I saw “Jerusalem” (and it’s latke recipe, which I will sharing with you shortly) I wanted it. Badly. And guess what. I got it. For my birthday. From my sister. Because my family is awesome and gifts each other beautiful cookbooks and kitchen appliances.

Anyway, when I was home for Thanksgiving, my dad made the shakshuka out of “Plenty” for brunch one morning. (Let it be noted that there is ALSO a shakshuka recipe in “Jerusalem” and that they are, indeed, different.) Now, as one who has only recently grown to love bell peppers, I was skeptical about liking this dish. It is, afterall, mostly bell peppers. But oh my gosh you guys. Go make this NOW. It’s so amazing. Really complex flavors (thanks saffron and muscovado sugar), brilliant colors, and delicious leftovers. Best enjoyed with some crusty bread (think rye or a French batard or something like that).


Serves 4 generously


1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil (I would maybe do a little less than this, but try it and see what you think)
2 large onions, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced into 3/4-inch slices
2 yellow bell peppers, same preparation
4 tsp muscovado sugar (yes, it’s an obscure ingredient, but now I want to put it in everything)
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs worth of thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 Tbl chopped parsley
2 Tbl chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
6 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (if it’s not tomato season, 2 small cans of canned tomatoes will work perfectly, but I would recommend draining most if not all of the juice first.)
1/2 tsp saffron threads
pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper
up to 1 1/8 cups water
4-8 eggs


In a very large pan (seriously, probably the biggest pan you’ve got is a good idea), dry roast the cumin seeds on high heat for a couple of minutes. Add the oil and onions, and saute for about 5 minutes. Then add the peppers, sugar, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, and cilantro, and keep cooking it on high heat for 5-10 minutes, until everything is starting to get some nice color to it.

Now add the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne, and a bit of salt and pepper. Bring the heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes. If you aren’t using canned tomatoes, keep adding water during this time so that the mix has kind of a chunky spaghetti sauce consistency. Because the canned tomatoes were pretty juice and I didn’t drain them completely, I found no need to add water. Give the mixture a taste, and adjust the seasoning as you see fit. More salt? More pepper? More muscovado sugar? Go nuts.

After 15 minutes on low heat, go ahead and remove the bay leaves. Now Ottolenghi has you divide the mixture among 4 little frying pans, but let’s face it, I’m not going to unnecessarily dirty 4 extra dishes. If it’s a fancy breakfast and you’ve got those adorable mini cast-iron skillets, maybe that’s your thing. But I just kept it all in the same one big pan for this part. Make some gaps in the pepper mix, and break one egg into each gap. (I surveyed my crowd to see how many eggs we each wanted, so I did 6.) Sprinkle with some salt and cover the pan with a lid (or tightly with some foil, if your pan doesn’t have a lid). Cook on “a very (!) gentle heat” for 10-12 minutes, or until the eggs are just set. A runny yolk is preferable. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with some crusty bread. Enjoy! I promise, once you make this, you’ll come up with a million excuses/occasions to repeat it. It’s so delicious. And as I said, it makes great leftovers because the flavors just get to deepen even more.