Monday, February 18, 2008

Shrimp and Sausage Saffron Rice

Cooking with the worlds' most expensive spice can be an adventure. It is estimated that it takes some 14,000 stigmas to produce only one ounce of saffron threads. This labor-intensive process contributes to the figures that the bright red threads can soar upwards of $50 per quarter-ounce. Wow, don't really want to mess up a dish with these costs. I could almost fill up my gas for the same amount of money!

Well, I am always up for a culinary experiment, though one with saffron needs to be taken a little more seriously in the event of failure. Luckily, this recipe is a fairly simple one, yet still full of flavor and complexity. The saffron lends the rice a beautiful, deep yellow color. In fact, one part saffron to 150,000 parts water will still turn the water a bright yellow and impart a distinctive flavor.

Shrimp and Sausage Saffron Rice
(adapted from Real Simple)
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces andouille sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick (I substituted keilbasa I already had)
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
12 saffron threads, crumbled
1 cup long-grain white rice
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown on both sides. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions and green peppers. Saute, until onions are translucent and tender. Add garlic. Deglaze the wok by adding the wine and cook for 2 minutes, scraping up any brown bits. Add the broth, saffron, and rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir the shrimp and peas into the rice, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Season with the salt and pepper. Spoon onto plates and add the cilantro.

1 comment:

MrOrph said...

Nice dish! I luv, luv, sooooo luv, saffron. I actually bought an ounce of it! OUCH!