I posted a recipe last Sunday, for a vegetarian dish. Today I’m going to post a recipe for Saffron-Orange Rice, which is VERY yummy. My step-mom makes this recipe. I know it’s from a cookbook, but I don’t know which one. I’ve had it on previous trips to Portland, but I never thought to make it for Ted, because he’s not a fan of basmati rice AND he thinks dried fruit is devil food AND he’s not generally thrilled by nuts either. So I was excited when he raved about this dish, and said he would like to have it again. Right away, I emailed my step-mom for the recipe. It’s VERY good. We had it with a roast chicken and green beans sauteed with walnuts and gorgonzola cheese. It would be really yummy with rack of lamb, I think, or with a hearty vegetarian dish, such as stuffed eggplant.
1 tsp saffron threads
2 tblsp hot milk
1 cup basmati rice
4 tblsp ghee or unsalted butter
6 whole green cardamom pods
2 tblsp whole raw cashews, split in half lengthwise
1 tblsp blanched slivered almonds
1 tblsp golden raisins
5 slices of dried orange skin *
7 tblsp sugar **
1/2 tsp salt
Put the saffron in a very small cup or bowl. Add the milk and set aside for 2 to 3 hours. ***
Wash the rice in several changes of water. Drain. Put the rice in a bowl, add water to cover by 2 inches, and set aside for 30 minutes. Drain.
Preheat oven to 325F.
Put the ghee or butter in a heavy flame and ovenproof pot and set over medium-high heat.**** When it is hot, put in the cardamom pods, cashews, almonds, and raisins. Stir until the almonds are golden. Put in the rice and stir gently for a minute. Add the orange skin, sugar, saffron and milk, salt, and 1 1/3 cups of water. Stir gently to mix and bring to a boil. Cover, first with a piece of foil and then with a lid, and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir gently before serving.
Remove the cardamom pods before serving, as they are not meant to be eaten.
* I didn’t really try to find dried orange skin. I zested two oranges, and used that instead.
** I used 1/2 this amount, and it was plenty sweet.
*** I didn’t notice this step ahead of time, so mine only sat for 1/2 hour. Still very yummy.
**** We don’t have a pot that I trust to go from the stove to the oven, so I used a skillet for the first steps, and put a covered casserole dish in the oven to preheat. I wasn’t sure if it would affect the recipe if I were to pour the hot rice mixture into a lukewarm casserole dish, and I didn’t want to take a chance. 😉
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do. Happy cooking!