Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen

Mellow Yellow: A Saffron FAQ

by Kate Heyhoe


I'm just mad about Saffron
Saffron's mad about me
I'm just mad about Saffron
She's just mad about me

They call me mellow yellow (Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow (Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow...

— Donovan


If cars, music and jewelry can be sexy, so too can certain foods.

Take saffron for instance: it's the world's most expensive spice, it's picked by hand, and when used, saffron commands the center of attention—both in taste and in glorious color. Saffron is the queen of culinary make-overs: just a pinch of saffron can transform ordinary foods into sophisticated, drop-dead gorgeous meals that entice the senses with seductive aroma and eye-catching hues. A single bite of a saffron-laced dish can send a diner into heaven.

Fortunately, only a small amount of saffron is needed when cooking. In fact, it can be a lazy cook's best friend, as little else is needed to turn a meal from boring to sensational. But saffron also proves that you can have too much of a good thing: adding more than a pinch can overpower a dish with its characteristic pungency, so use it sparingly.

Being at times a lazy cook myself, I created several saffron recipes that look and taste elegant, yet are quick and easy to prepare. Saffron Poached Chicken illustrates how well saffron can work with just a few simple ingredients to produce a succulent but nearly effortless main course—and with a bonus saffron-flavored broth to turn into soup, sauce or for cooking with rice. Other simple saffron recipes that I whip up on occasion are Saffron Basmati Rice and Turkey in Saffron Cream Sauce, a "Turkey+Three Ingredients" dish.

A Saffron FAQ  

Saffron FAQ

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about saffron:

One final tip: if you're going to buy the world's most expensive spice, don't be chintzy. It's worth getting a top quality saffron, even if it costs a few dollars more. You'll taste the difference immediately. Look for threads with a dark, deep reddish-orange color, and follow the tips above the get the most of this sexy little spice.

Kate Heyhoe


Kate's Saffron Recipes:

Saffron Poached Chicken
Saffron Basmati Rice
Turkey in Saffron Cream Sauce


Other Saffron Recipes:

Mussels in Banana Leaves
     with Saffron-Lemon Butter

Spaghetti with Mussels and Saffron
Saffron Pasta with Mussels (low fat)


Kate's Global Kitchen for January, 2001:

01/06/01 The Global Meatball
01/13/01 Mellow Yellow: A Saffron FAQ
01/20/01 Asian New Year: Honoring the Kitchen God
01/27/00 Kitchen Remodel, PLUS: Remodelers' Survival Recipes, Phase 1


Copyright © 2001, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.


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This page created January 2001