Sunday, May 3, 2009

Saffron Rice with Balsamic Sauce

This post is for my brother-in-law who just loves my saffron rice with balsamic sauce. I usually make this rice with skewers, both meat and veggie, marinated in a Greek style dressing. It's a summer favorite at our place.

Saffron Rice
3 cups Basmati Rice
4.5 cups of water (use the ratio on the rice package)
2 teaspoons of salt
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil or clarified butter (I usually use a heart healthy oil)
1/2 teaspoon saffron dissolved in 4 tablespoons hot water

Directions: There is a very specific recipe and technique for making this type of rice, which incidentally is a Persian recipe. But I don't follow the recipe. Here's what I do: put the rice in a pot or rice cooker. Rinse 3-4 times in cold water until the rice runs clear. Add water, salt, oil and saffron mixture to the rice pot. Turn on, walk away and come back when it's done.

In another pot I cook 1-1.5 cups of plain rice according to instructions (be sure to rinse the rice). Once both pots of rice are done, mix them together so there is clear defining colors. The saffron rice will be yellow/orange, and the plain rice will be white. Since we eat with our eyes, this is a very beautiful presentation.

Balsamic Sauce
(This sauce is served spooned over Greek marinated skewers, and over the rice recipe above).

1, 2 or 3 shallots chopped/sliced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 cups of balsamic vinegar
1/2-1 cup of chicken stock/broth

Directions: Slice and/or chop the shallots into small pieces, but don't mince. You want decent sized pieces. Add them to the olive oil in a pan and saute until soft. Add the balsamic vinegar and chicken stock/broth and reduce by half. The sauce can be served over the rice, which is especially good. We also spoon it over meat skewers and veggie skewers that have been BBQ'd. A tip for skewers - in order to cook the veggies evenly, we make the meat and veggie skewers separately.

These recipes are simple to make, and are a crowd pleaser. Anytime I take the rice and balsamic sauce to a party, or serve it at our house for a get together, I'm asked for the recipe. It's wonderful!