"We're mad about saffron today," says chef Tom Douglas, and you should be too!
"I think this is kind of a winter ingredient," he adds, fulfilling the umami taste that people seem to love. If you're looking to get away from a traditional paella, chef Thierry Rautureau suggests making seafood and shellfish with saffron. "It's very easy to overpower," he cautions, so use a light hand when using it to season.
When you buy saffron, Tom says, you should check to see if there's an expiration date and get it as close to fresh as you can. "Its essence is its floral aroma," he says, "and if it's a couple of years old, it's going to lose that."
Seafood soup is a great way to use saffron, Tom says, as well as a quick and easy chicken saffron salad. Make it into an aioli, he suggests, with just a few saffron threads to top your salad or soup.
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