Hocus crocus

Crocus sativas is the plant that gives us the divine and treasured stamen AKA saffron. Actually, it was a Rory tactile exploration (read pain in the arse grabbing at shit on the shop counter), who discovered a bowl of Iranian saffron at the newly opened Nepalese shop at rapid creek. $6.49 for a gram was a bargain, as long as the stuff was kosher, so to speak.

Move over, Lard arse

I’ve been having a lot of fun making my lardy bread inspired by the Dan Lepard recipe and the Peter’s Yard cardoman bun.

This idea was, I have to say, frickin’ genius. Saffron bread is a Cornish specialty, and I have a recipe for buns somewhere, made with a lard enriched dough. Ker-ching, light bulb moment, how about the rolled lardy bread with saffron. See the video I put up last month showing the detailed preparation of the lardy bread.

  • apprx 500g white dough, risen overnight at 12C
  • flattened, and then 3/4 spread with
  • 150g ish of lard
  • sprinkled generously with unrefined sugar
  • grated lemon rind 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp ground saffron
  • sprinkling of currents

Folded over and flattened 4 times to get layers. However, in contrast to the method shown in the video, where I then roll it into a tube and cut lengthways, I instead cut across the cylinder to end up with wee buns. These I packed into a round tin, very closely anticipating that they would pull apart into, well, buns. Baked along with a large white loaf and croissants, a total of 10 cups flour and 4 of starter. Fun.

And they separated very nicely.

Did I say genius?

Saffron lardy bread

Saffron lardy bread

Continuing the Asian theme (from the shop, not Cornwall), I thought it would be interesting to make a pilau type affair using some Basmati rice of fine repute, from the same shop. And thinking it would be rather nice to crack open a bottle of some Margaret River chardonnay, I bought some scallops. Soooooo,

  • 1kg of scallops, steamed with a little water in a large saucepan with a lid until just done. Left to cool. Juice poured off.
  • 3 shallots, chopped and cooked to translucency in a decent chunk of butter and olive oil
  • 2 cups of basmati rice, no washing or rinsing

The juice I attempted to strain as the scallops this week were very muddy. This took a while as the mud/ clay blocked every filter I tried to utilise. Eventually, I just poured off the juice once the clay had settled to the bottom.

  • 1/4g saffron, briefly microwaved till aromatic and pounded in a pestle and mortar, added to shallots/ rice
  • scallop juice added to rice

I topped up with water every now and then stirring. Basmatic is pretty resilient unlike paella rice, which would just go to a mush with stirring. I could have left it a little longer to get a proper crust (the ‘tah-dig’? in Iran), but I was too hungry.

The scallops I de-bearded and then rinsed in an ice water bath, and served on the rice. Henry-Hoehnan chardonnay, amazing.


About willeats1

Primarily gastronomic explorer. Occasional father, emergency physician and mountain biker. View all posts by willeats1

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