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Cooking With Saffron- Saffron Cream Sauce Over Sole

Many cooks shy away from using Saffron. An expensive spice, but well worth the outlay for a special occasion dinner.

Saffron comes from the flower of crocus sativus, but is commonly referred to as the saffron crocus.  The threads are dried and very delicate to the touch.  I assume harvesting is labor intensive and extremely time consuming, hence the price that accompanies it. It is commonly sold in small glass tubes and a little goes a long way. Just over a half an ounce is about $15.00 and that will last you a while.

The color is a fall-like golden, yellow hue and the aroma is, well, I cannot describe it.  Perhaps, pure and beautiful, yet earthy.

I have cooked with Saffron over the years adding it to Risotto, cream sauces for fish and pasta and if I have a tube that is getting old, I would add it to soup.

Try it. Splurge and make a killer mushroom cream sauce to ladle over some Dover Sole or Grey Sole. This recipe is about 10-12 minutes beginning to end.

What you need:

  • 1 pound of Grey or Dover Sole
  • Shitake mushrooms sliced thin- to taste
  • pinch of saffron
  • boiling water
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 TBS of butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh lemon juice- just a squeeze

What to do:

Carefully remove the saffron threads, break them up into a small glass bowl. Cover the threads with a small amount of boiling water. We will come back to it.

Using a covered skillet, with an inch or two side height, melt the butter and add the garlic and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes until soft and you can breathe in that smell!

Add in the saffron mixture. Stir a bit to blend.

Add the cream and salt & pepper.  Stir a bit more.

Slide the fish into the skillet, coating the fish with the sauce.

Cover and cook about 5-9 minutes until fish is soft. Squeeze the lemon over the pan. Now look at that beautiful color!

Serve with grilled asparagus or broccoli.

YUM.

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