Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saffron Rice Pudding

I always thought saffron was one of those household spices (you know like cinnamon and vanilla?) and isn’t super expensive. But then I watched Worst Cooks in America (I was a long time ago...) where Rachel dumps 40$ worth of saffron. I was like WOAH! Its 40 bucks for that small thing!!! I totally though chef ann was exaggerating, but I guess not, it is one of the world’s most expensive spice! I’ve never cooked with saffron before, but I just had to try this saffron pudding after watching Rachel toss a huge amount…

Saffron turns it YELLOW. OMG. I didn’t know that, it was like red in the bottle…huh, guess it goes to show you don’t judge a spice by its color. So it was actually very sweet, even though it looked similar to a curry, you know with the grains of rice and rich yellow golden color. I reduced the sugar by half a cup, but even then, it was a little too sweet for me. Maybe only a cup of sugar? It was too sweet, and the yellow color threw me off a little, but it was still pretty good. I probably wouldn’t make it again, but you know, you might have 40$ worth of saffron to spare!

Saffron Pudding

1 cup rice basmati
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp Spanish Saffron threads or 1/2 tsp ground saffron
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup rose water

Garnish: cinnamon, almonds or pistachios

1.) Rinse the rice in water and drain. Repeat.
2.) Add the rice and 8 cups water to a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for about 20-25 minutes until the rice has absorbed much of the water and is kind of soupy.
3.) Add the sugar, butter, saffron, cardamom, and rose water. Stir well and simmer covered for an additional 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to release the saffron and keep the mixture consistent. Add 1 cup water if needed to keep the consistency pourable.
4.) Once the mixture has thickened to a pourable creamy pudding consistency, pour into a large bowl or individual serving bowls/ramekins. (If it still seems too watery, just simmer for a few minutes with the lid off.)
5.) Cool on the counter until pudding is at room temperature and then chill in the fridge for an hour. The pudding will thicken and harden. Decorate if desired, before serving.

Serves 12

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