Skip to comments.Weekly Cooking Thread ~Recipes~ June 11, 2011
Posted on 06/11/2011 8:04:42 AM PDT by libertarian27
Welcome to the 27th installment of the FR Weekly Cooking (Recipes) Thread.
Looking for something new to make or made something new that came out great? Please share a 'tried-and-true' recipe or two - or all of them:)! for fellow FReepers to add to their 'go-to' Recipe Stack of Family Favorites!
Here's the place to share and explore your next favorite recipe.
I keep forgetting to tell you. I talked with my husband’s Indian friend about saffron. He told me that saffron doesn’t have much flavor at all. He also said that when it gets cold in India some people put a couple of threads on their tongues to help warm them up. I guess its supposed to be a thermogenic spice but I haven’t found anything to verify that. I did put a thread on my tongue but didn’t care for it.
He said they add a couple of threads to warm milk or to rice pudding.
Evidently there is fake saffron out there and the way to tell is to add a thread or two to warm water or milk. If the liquid turns color immediately it is fake. It takes about 15 minutes for the real saffron to color the liquid.
Have you ever put a thread of saffron on your tongue? If so, what did you think it tasted like? If not, could you do it and tell me what you think it tastes like. I want to see if we both come to the same conclusion. lol
I was telling my son about the Aroz con Pollo and plan to make it when he is home for the 4th so he can try it. I think he’ll like it.
I’ll have to have my wife send me some spices from the lower 48. my “store” here in the bush doesn’t have allspice berries or japone peppers.
Freezing leftovers also comes in handy for days when you just don’t feel like cooking. :)
I can understand why someone from India would think saffron does not have much much flavor at all. Since Indians use curry leaves, cardomom, lemon grass, corriander, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, etc., all of which have far more flavor than saffron does, saffron’s flavor would seem rather bland to anyone from India.
Quite frankly, saffron doesn’t have a very robust flavor. It is one of those spices that is very subtle, but adds a flavor unlike any other. It really needs a warm liquid to fully release its flavor and it takes a food like rice or potatoes, pasta, etc. to really be able to absorb the earthy smokiness it gives to a dish.
I have never heard of its thermogenic properties and since it is such a mild flavor I don’t see how it would really warm you up, but what do I know? I just went and put a couple of saffron threads on my tongue to taste it again all by itself. To me it has sort of a earthy smoky flavor that is slightly bitter. I do not find it at all hot but then I like to use spices like of crushed red chili pepper, cayene pepper, hot sauce, etc. to spice things up a bit, so some people I suppose might taste a hint of heat in it.
There is a lot of fake saffron out there and a lot of it is labled as saffron powder. I always buy the saffron threads for that very reason, since it is harder to fake than the powder is. Good saffron should be a really dark red color (no yellow at all). I also usually buy it from ethnic grocery stores (Spanish or Indian) since their customers would be less likely to be satisfied with fake saffron and more apt to recognize the real stuff. I also have been buying it for so many years now, that I can tell the fake stuff just by smelling it. Most of the fake stuff has a lot of tumeric in it and that is why it changes the color of the liquids so quickly, whereas the real stuff has to steep in the warm liquid and gives off its color and flavor more slowly.
Tumeric is often called the poor man’s saffron and in many countries it is sometimes used as a substitute since it will still give food a yellow tint like saffron will do. If the food is brightly colored yellow, chances are it has at least some tumeric in it, since saffron gives it a paler yellow color. There are many Indian dishes that use both tumeric and saffron in them. Saffron Rice, for example often has both saffron and tumeric in it, so it often has a brighter yelow color, than rice made with saffron alone.
I am glad you are enjoying the arroz con pollo recipe I posted. We made a huge batch of it again the first part of this month. We ate it for three days in a row for dinner and I still had lots for lunches.
The very last little bit of arroz con pollo I threw in a flour tortilla with some other leftovers (a dab of refried beans, some chopped onion, shredded cheddar cheese, and black olives) along with a little hot sauce, tomatilo salsa, and a touch of sour cream. and had a really wonderful burrito for lunch. It was great that way too!
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Your recipes all belong to us :>)
I checked my saffron and it was the real deal. I think it smells and tastes like bleach! lol
I didn’t realize they use it in large amounts for abortions. :/ and too much can kill you. Though at the price it costs, it would be an expensive way to go! Too much is also bad for the liver.
Not being impressed by the saffron is ok by me, since it can be pricey and I prefer the curry and turmeric a lot more. I don’t think leaving it out of the Aroz con Pollo will make much difference if any.
LOL! I can taste a big difference in the arroz con pollo without the saffron, but since you obviously don’t like the scent or the flavor of the saffron you might like it better without it.
I read the links you provided for saffron. I did not see where it was actually used for abortions, but it did say that if you consumed 10 grams or more it could cause a miscarriage. They also said that if you regularly consumed over 5 grams you could overdose on it.
They did list a few healthful benefits too, however! Recent studies have shown that it helps with depression and some cultures have used it medicinally for help with digestion, calming cramps, relief from spasms, calming anxiety, since ancient times.
While I suppose someone could overdose on saffron, the symptoms of an overdose do not even begin to be apparent unless you regularly consumed over 5 grams of the stuff. It would be a really expensive way to overdose!
Each double batch of arroz con pollo uses less than 1/2 a gram of saffron, so I would need to eat about 10 double batches of arroz con pollo in a day to even begin to see any symptoms. Each double batch serves 15-20 people. I do like the arroz con pollo, but not quite that much! LOL!
Saffron also contains vitamin B2.
Like just about everything, using things in moderation is quite safe. Drinking alcohol is bad for the liver too if you drink too much, but a drink now and then can actually be beneficial.
All its benefits can be had in things I already use or take so I’m not concerned about that. I posted the links for those that may not have ever tried it or used it, or known much about it. Like I said you would have to spend a fortune to overdose on it. One thing I have learned though is that people with slow metabolisms have things build up in their systems very easily.
I just can’t see where the three strands offered much flavor to the Aroz con Pollo. I’ll have to try it both ways to see.
I prefer the flax meal for its abilities to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugars stabilize hormones etc.
I just thought the info was interesting.
I didn’t use 1/4 gram in the Aroz con Pollo. Probably a god thing, I might have liked it at all if I had! lol
Three strands probably wouldn’t do anything flavor wise. The recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of saffron threads. I assure you it doesn’t overpower the dish. It adds just a hint of smokiness to the arroz con pollo.
I am wondering if the saffron you bought picked up the scent and the flavor of something it was kept near at the store or perhaps in a warehouse before it go to you. Some foods including some spices will pick up the taste of something with a strong scent that is stored nearby. I won’t even let them put any cleaning products in the same sack as any food items I am purchasing at the grocery store for that very reason.
My saffron does not smell or taste anything like bleach. I had everyone in my house smell it and taste it and tell me what they thought of it. They all had a similar comments to mine. My daughters both thought it had a faint smoky taste and smell like beef jerky. The guys thought it had a slight smokey barbeque flavor like the crust you can get on meat cooked on the barbecue.
Considering I didn't like the taste I think I'll refrain from using 'more'. I'd hate to ruin a whole pot of something.
After searching the internet, it would appear that saffron is another one of those seasonings that has a taste that differs quite widely from person to person, Like cilantro, you either love it or hate it. It is clearly a difference based on a person’s individual taste buds and their own palate. Here is a list of the different comments I found on the internet. What I found most interesting was all the different ways people described the taste. I slightly modified the wording of the last one to clean up the language used! LOL
a faint honey flavor
it tastes like the sea.
an earthy taste
a smokey taste
it’s a mixture of sweet and bitter
a bitter, honey-like taste
a bit flowery, sort of perfumey
something cozy and warm
kind of dusty-tasting
air of staleness and old cupboard
Tastes like metal
gasoline/latex paint flavor
a monkey’s posterior
Okay I tried the Mashed Potato soup recipe I had found and it was just okay, so I doctored the recipe and made it great! Here it is for all to enjoy!
My Mashed Potato Soup
Half a package of Bacon (12-16 oz.)
1 medium or large onion, chopped (my family loves onion so I use a large onion)
2-3 Tablespoons Butter
About 3-4 tablespoons of flour
4 cups of chicken stock
2 3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
½ pound cheddar Cheese, grated
1-2 cups of cream depending on how creamy and rich you want the soup
Salt and pepper to taste (I like to use white pepper for this soup)
Chopped Chives to garnish
Cut bacon into small pieces and sauté in a large stock pot to desired doneness. (We dont like ours to be overly crisp in a soup, but that is the only way some people eat bacon.). Remove bacon from the pan, but leave the bacon grease. Sauté onion in the bacon drippings adding butter if needed now. When onions are translucent add more butter if needed and stir in flour. Cook for about a minute to cook the flour taste out. Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring with the whisk while the soup thickens. Whisk in leftover mashed potatoes, and reduce heat to low. Gradually add the grated cheddar cheese a little at a time making sure it has melted into the soup before adding more. Add bacon back into the soup. Taste soup and add salt and pepper if needed now. Finish soup by stirring in the cream. Taste soup again to make sure seasonings are perfect before serving. Top each bowl of soup with chopped chives.
Variations: For a chunky soup, you may wish to add chunks of potato or even other veggies. This would also be good with some diced ham added to it too.
For a lower fat version try adding milk instead of cream at the end and for a low fat version, you could leave out the cream completely. (I tasted it before adding the cream and it was quite good that way too, but my family loves rich creamed soups, so I added the cream to finish it off.
My trick is to buy a roasting chicken or a turkey and I get three or four meals out of it....
1)Roast chicken gravy and mashed potatoes 2)chicken and gravy sandwiches 3)Chicken soup (clean off the carcass and add bits of chicken and veg and noodles) 5)chicken pot pie
Can't get much cheaper than that lol
I do that same thing. I make soup stock out of any meat that has bones. If I don’t have time to make it right away, I throw the bones into a zip lock storage bag and put them in the freezer until I have time to make it.
I do the same thing with other meats such as a beef or pork roasts, ham, turkey, etc. I get as many meals out of everything that I can. I also save leftover veggies in zip lock bags, and then throw them into my soups when I make them.
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My Favorite weekend breakfast - Toad in the Hole.
This is simply Yorkshire pudding with sausages in it.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Prepare the batter;
starting with 150 grams of All Purpose Flour in a bowl, add a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Make a small well in the center of the flour and add 2 large eggs. Whisk the eggs slowly, allowing them to take up flour from the sides of the bowl (this keeps the batter from having lumps). After about 1/2 of the flour has been incorporated into the eggs, begin whisking in 250 ml of whole milk, 50ml at a time, and continue to incorporate the flour, and thin the batter.
Set aside in the refrigerator.
Prepare your pan. Place 1/4 cup rendered beef fat or lard in an aluminum loaf pan. Place on a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil (to catch drips) on the center rack of the 450 oven. Allow fat to heat for about 7 or 8 minutes. Avoid using non-stick for this due to the high heat.
Add sausages to the fat. The ones I use are typically ‘Bangers’ which is a traditional British sausage that looks and tastes a bit like a bratwurst. 4 fit nicely in a loaf pan and cook for about 6 minutes. If you use the smaller “standard sized” breakfast sausages your pan should be able to hold about 8, and cooking time can be reduced to 5 minutes.
While the sausages are cooking, retrieve the batter from the refrigerator and whisk in 75 ml of cold water.
Pour the batter into the pan over the sausages. Allow to cook for 25 minutes at 450, then reduce heat to 400 and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.
Serve with fresh fruit (because this can get to be a little bit rich!).
We do that, too. :)
One of my favorite recipes over the years calls for 2 5lb chickens. When I do that I get lots of great chicken juice for the chicken pot pie.
Do you make yours with rolled dough for top and bottom, just on top, biscuits on top or dough spread across the top?
I spread a dough across the top. I make my chicken pot pie filling. Spray a 9x15 baking dish with non stick spray, pour filling into baking dish, then in a medium size bowl mix:
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
egg substitute = to two eggs, (1/2 cup = 2 eggs)
2 T margarine or butter, melted and cooled
1 1/3 cups all purpose unbleached flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 T minced parsley (optional)
Whisk together the buttermilk, egg substitute and margarine. Stir in the remaining ingredients until just combined. Spread the batter over the chicken mixture and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the crust comes out clean.
Beautiful! Do you make it too?
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