Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saffron Rice

Shown here under Salt Crusted Fish

Saffron Rice is a lovely, and delicate side dish.  Also works great used as a bed for fish.  I was not able to find the recommended Calasparra rice; I settled for Calrose, so the texture was slightly different than what Thomas Keller's recipe inteded.  This cames from the Ad Hoc at Home Cook Book.  Enjoy!

Direct from the book:
Calasparra is a Spanish rice that's idea for Paella.  It has short plump grains, like Carnaroli, the Italian risotto rice.  The onion is cut into pieces just smaller than the grains of cooked rice. And be sure to use a wide pan instead of a saucepan, so that the rice is spread out in a thinner layer for more rapid evaporation of liquid, which will keep the kernels distinct and separate.

1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion (cut just smaller than a grain of cooked rice)
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 cups (about 14 ounces) short grain rice, preferably Calasparra
2 3/4 to 3 1/2 cups Chicken Stock or Vegetable stock

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until hot.  Add the onion and season with a sprinkling of salt.  Reduce the heat and cook gently for 3 minutes.  Add the saffron.  Reduce the heat to very low and cook for another 2 minutes; do not brown the onions and saffron.  Add the rice and cook over medium heat, stirring often, to toast the rice for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 cups of the stock, stir once, scraping the sides of the pan if necessary, and cover with a parchment lid (I just used a plain old lid...)

Bring the stock to a simmer and simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary, for about 8 minutes, until most of the stock has been absorbed.  The rice will still be firm.  Gently stir the rice, scraping it up from the bottom and reduce to very low heat.  Add an additional 1/4 cup of stock, cover with the lid, increase the heat, and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for about 3 minutes, until the stock is absorbed.  Taste the rice and, if necessary, continue cooking, adding up to 3/4 cup more stock 1/4 cup at a time, as necessary, until the rice is almost tender and the final addition of liquid is almost absorbed. Turn the heat to low to allow the rice to absorb the remaining liquid, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and serve hot.

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