Before you proceed on the sample recipes, here are some basic tips on how to use saffron.
Saffron could be utilized in 2 ways: powdered and threads. If your objective in using it is to make a visual outcome like making a decoration for your own food, you should use threads. A great example of it is illustrated in the photo below. However, if you would like to use it in a way that will not be noticeable, then you have to grind it. A great example of it is the use of saffron in the pizza sauce and trying to make it secretly.
Do not purchase powdered saffron for 2 good reasons otherwise you rely on your supplier. The first one is that it is so easy to adulterate the saffron powder and you really do not know if it is really pure. The second is that the powdered saffron comes with short life span and it can lose its flavor instantly.
If you have to use the powdered type, you should create your own, as you require it by simply grinding the threads of saffron into fine powder prior adding it to the food. If you are planning to use 1 or 2 pinches of it at a certain point of time, purchasing a pestle and a mortar is advisable. If you are facing problems or difficulties in grinding the saffron using these tools because of the moisture, you just have to add one pinch of grains of sugar on the saffron, then grind them. This will make the grinding process easier for you, and this will not cause any problem to the taste of your recipe. It is also advisable to purchase blade coffee bean grinder and use it in grinding the saffron.
When the saffron is already completely grinded and looks like a powder, you should add 3 to 5 teaspoons of hot water to it, then allow the water to mix completely with the powder for about 5 up to 10 minutes. The end product of this process is known as the liquid saffron. You could prepare this with added milk, wine or vinegar than water. If you will prepare it mixed with hot water, you could pour and keep it inside a jar for some weeks, then use it when you need to.
Once you know how much you should use, you should put the saffron threads on a neat flat plate and set aside the threads then look at them carefully before you mix anything on it. When you see something that is not a thread of the saffron, you should pick that then throw it. Usually, there are certain particles that mix with the threads which accidentally occur because the whole process is made by human beings who will never be able to escape from errors. Cleaning the saffron is an extremely labor-intensive procedure once you pay your attention to saffron pounds.
The persons who are responsible for the packing process of saffron will do everything they can to make sure that the saffron will be free from any type of foreign substance yet there are times that they failed to do it perfectly. As you have to use some threads only, you will only need to spend few seconds in inspecting the threads. For your own protection and all the people who surround you, you should never disregard this tip. This is a disadvantage of the powdered saffron once the foreign particles are grinded with the saffron.
Since the saffron that you can find in various regions around the world have potencies, you should use them based on the directions included in the recipe. For instance, Persian saffron has high potency and you will have to use only some in the recipe.
Always keep the saffron in cool and dry place away from sunlight. Likewise, you should expose it to moisture.
Just make use of your imagination and unleash your creativity when cooking with saffron and you will open the doors to exciting and delightful flavor experiences that you have never had before.