Category Archives: Saffron Recipes

Making Spanish Paella The Easy Way

Paella is a saffron-flavored dish made with varying combinations of rice, vegetables, meat, chicken and seafood. Spain and the Catalan languages, paella means frying pan or pot. The traditional paella pan is flat and of large diameter, it can also have handles on each side.

In fact, paella is one of the most versatile dishes to make. Paella also has the advantage of being great to clean out the fridge and use up leftover meats and vegetables. Any combination will eventually be great the secret is in the chemistry. Spanish Paella is a dish that is generally made to feed several people. Moreover, Spanish Paella is quite flavorful the next day as the tastes have had time to mix together and become stronger.

Here are three basic steps to follow to make wonderful Spanish Paellas while leaving you the latitude to be creative and to make the dish their own by customizing it to their taste.

1. Preparing the rice.

Select a type of rice that you are comfortable using. Feel free to experiment but know that Spanish Paella contains a lot of ingredients and if you are unhappy with the end result with a particular type of rice, you might end up with a lot of waste. Basmati, brown or a mix with wild rice can add great taste and texture. Follow the instructions on the package with regards to washing and cooking the rice. Finely chop some onion, garlic and tomato. Heat a saucepan and add olive oil once the saucepan is hot (make sure that the oil does not start smoking. Burnt olive oil is carcinogenic and quite unhealthy). Once the oil is hot, throw in the uncooked rice. Frying uncooked rice gives it a nutty taste. Let the rice fry in the saucepan for a minute or so. Add the chopped onion, garlic and tomato until they soften, mixing constantly. Spice with saffron, salt and pepper. Feel free to experiment. Cumin, Cayenne various fine herbs or even a bit cinnamon or cloves can easily be added for a flavoring of your own. This mixture should not be on the stove for more that three to five minutes. At high heat with constant mixing, none of the ingredients should stick but they should mix well together and soften. Once all the ingredients are combined, remove the saucepan from the burner and mix in some frozen peas. Add enough peas to make a well balanced mixture.

2. Choosing and making the meat.

In a frying pan at high heat, brown some pieces of chicken. Upper thighs, drumsticks, breasts…it's all good. Do not cook the meat completely but brown the outside. Once browned, set the meat aside. Lamb can also add great flavor to your Spanish Paella.

3. Combination of it all

Cover the bottom of the Spanish Paella pan with the uncooked rice mixture. Add the browned chicken pieces on top. Add uncooked shell fish and small fish filets rolled up and fastened with a toothpick or string. Use any type of fish but make sure that its flesh will hold well together. Pour some chicken broth on top (if the broth is warm the cooking time will reduce). Note that you can also add wine for more flavor. Cover the Spanish Paella dish and cook for about 45 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit or until the rice is fully cooked. At this point you can add raw shrimp or mussles and cook uncovered for another five minutes.

In short, the secret to preparing the perfect Spanish Paella is to make it your own!

Saffron Buns

A saffron bun, Cornish tea treat bun or revel bun, Swedish lussebulle or lussekatt, Norwegian lussekatt, is a rich, spiced yeast-leavened sweet bun that is flavoured with saffron and cinnamon or nutmeg and contains currants similar to a teacake. The main ingredients are plain flour, butter, yeast, caster sugar, currants and sultanas.[1] Larger versions baked in a loaf tin are known as saffron cake.

In parts of Britain, the buns were traditionally baked on sycamore leaves and dusted with powdered sugar.

The "revel bun" from Cornwall is baked for special occasions, such as anniversary feasts (revels), or the dedication of a church. In the West of Cornwall large saffron buns are also known as "tea treat buns" and are associated[2] with Methodist Sunday school outings or activities.Saffron buns for Lucia (Saint Lucy's Day)

In Sweden and Norway no cinnamon or nutmeg is used in the bun, and raisins are used instead of currants. The buns are baked into many traditional shapes, of which the simplest is a reversed S-shape. They are traditionally eaten during Advent, and especially on Saint Lucy's Day, December 13. In addition to Sweden, they are also prepared and eaten in much the same way in Finland, above all in Swedish-speaking areas and by Swedish-speaking Finns, as well as in Norway[3] and Denmark.[4]

Most commercially available saffron buns and cakes today contain food dyes that enhance the natural yellow provided by saffron. The very high cost (it is the world's most expensive spice by weight[5]) makes the inclusion of sufficient saffron to produce a rich colour an uneconomical option. The addition of food colouring in Cornish saffron buns was already common by the end of the First World War when the scarcity of saffron tempted bakers to find other ways to colour their products

Lussekatter (Saffron Buns) are served on St. Lucia Day (13 December) in Scandinavia.


  • ½ tsp. crushed saffron threads (¼ tsp. powder)
  • ¾ c. (180ml) half and half, lukewarm…., half and half refers to a mixture of 50% milk and 50% cream.
  • two pkgs. yeast (4½ tsp.) dissolved in ¼ c. very warm (edit lukewarm) water
  • ½ c. (120g) melted butter
  • two eggs, beaten
  • ¾ c. (180g) sugar
  • one tsp. salt
  • 4-5 c. sifted flour
  • Raisins to decorate


  1. Mix saffron in warm half and half and let stand while dissolving yeast in the water.
  2. Mix half of flour with other ingredients and beat until well blended.
  3. Add flour until dough is smooth but not too firm. Knead on floured surface for ten minutes.
  4. Place dough in buttered bowl and let rise until double (1½ hours).
  5. Roll seven-inch-long sticks and form S-shaped buns with their ends curled in. Place a raisin in each curl.
  6. Place buns on buttered sheet, cover and let rise 45 minutes. Brush with beaten egg and bake at 375-400°F (190-200°C) for 10-15 minutes.