Rice is pretty much found all over the world. There are lots of varieties and one of the most common is long grain white rice. Plain old white rice. Plain certainly describes it for sure. It is the type of rice I grew up with and I could go the rest of my life without having it again. That is, until I discovered how to make it awesome. Saffron yellow rice changed it all for me.
Saffron is one of those luxury spices. I believe it is the most expensive spice per weight. The good news is a little goes a long way. It packs a flavor punch. Only a pinch is needed. I recently found some for an excellent price at HomeGoods. I was not going to let it sit in my pantry and get old. So when I made Ropa Vieja for the first time I did not want to use store-bought yellow rice. Luckily where I found the recipe for Ropa Vieja there was an accompanying recipe for yellow rice using saffron. Score!
My saffron yellow rice has a lovely light color. A lot of yellow rice has a deeper color. I think it is because turmeric is used. I only used the additional spice of cumin for flavor. There was a lot of flavors going on in the Ropa Vieja and I didn’t want to add any more to the mix. As far as flavor goes, all I can say is that I could eat this rice all by itself. So simple and so good. I was plowing it down by the heaping spoonfuls. I did that when I made it, the next day, and the day after.
How often do you cook rice? It is usually a once a week side dish for me. That might change after having saffron yellow rice. I’m thinking rice will make an appearance on my table more often.
Saffron Yellow Rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads (A big pinch)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, add olive oil, saffron, and cumin. Over medium heat cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes until oil is hot but not smoking. Add rice and stir until rice is coated well, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered and without stirring until the water is below the surface of the rice, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let rice stand for 15 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from one on the Epicurious website.
Read more: Spiced Pecans