Updated: Mar 2
If you really want to impress or want to give a real spark of bright color to a meal; this recipe for the saffron cream sauce is perfect for you.
As saffron is very expensive, it should be used sparingly, but fortunately, even a small pinch of saffron can (and will) infuse a whole meal (or this sauce) with a glorious golden shimmer.
Saffron comes from the female parts of the crocus sativus, these look like three thin bright yellow threads growing in the middle of each flower in the fall.
Saffron can be bought either as threads (whole stigmas) or ground; you are better buying the threads. Not only will they retain their flavor longer, but you will also be assured you have purchased pure saffron. Powdered saffron is not as strong, tends to lose flavor, and is also easily adulterated with fillers and imitations.
The saffron sauce can be used with rice (such as a risotto perhaps), chicken or seafood dishes, but try to avoid pairing it with strong tastes or it lessens the impact; it's a complex taste best enjoyed with a simple pairing.
Some recipes for saffron sauce suggest adding finely diced shallots along with the wine, but this recipe is all about the smooth, refined taste and color of saffron so leaves them out.
150 ml double cream
150 ml white wine
50 ml water
50 g butter
Fill a jug or glass with 50ml/2fl oz. of water, and add a pinch of saffron to the water. The water will quickly turn golden yellow from the saffron.
Add the white wine to a pan and simmer over medium heat. Reduce the white wine down to a tablespoon or two.
Melt the butter in the pan, this adds a glossiness to the sauce.
Add the double cream, a small pinch of salt, and the saffron-infused water to the pan – by now the water should be a golden yellow. .Make sure to include all of those expensive saffron threads, they still are flavor (and color) packed!
Simmer over medium heat and stir until the sauce thickens and goes a stunning yellow, it will initially be quite a pale yellow, but as it heats it will intensify. Use the color to determine when the sauce is ready.
Enjoy. This sauce makes a luxurious accompaniment to many dishes.
Buy Saffron on Phoenix Saffron