Preserving Saffron

Saffron is a delicate spice with less than one year of freshness. It is can also be cumbersome to use as it needs to be diluted before it is added. Here is a traditional Iranian way of preserving it and making it easy to use for any recipe and even for tea.

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1- Crush a teaspoon of saffron threads in a small mortar. Do it gently. (If you will only be using it with salty dishes, you may want to crush it with some salt as it eases the process.)
2- Place the saffron in a glass jar and pour some boiling water (boil the water and let it rest 30 seconds before pouring it).

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3- Let it cool, close and place it in the fridge. It lasts up to six months.

For use: take a few teaspoons of the saffron liquid at a time. For tea, just add one teaspoon in a hot cup of water, or any herbal infusion or tea. 

Adviyeh – Persian spice mix

Adviyeh in Farsi, also known as Adwiyah in Arabic, is a delicious spice mix used in many dishes from ground beef to vegetable stews. The mix is used in Iran, Iraq and many countries of Central Asia including Afghanistan.

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One generous teaspoon of each of these spices:
– Turmeric
– Cinnamon (about half a cinnamon stick grated)
– Cloves
– Cumin
– Black pepper (crushed)
– Coriander seeds
– Sesame seeds
– The seeds from seven cardamon pods
-Plus some fresh ginger root crushed. This, I just add just before using the spice since it is a “wet” spice.

Optional: a teaspoon of dried rose petals.

Store in a sealed container for up to a month.

Fettuccini & Co.

This is an easy Pasta to make for a Sunday lunch. Just gather what you may have in the fridge and in the kitchen. And do not forget the Truffle oil!

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Today I gathered: Smoked salmon, arugula salad, baby tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, Kalamata olives, fresh basil and freshly grounded multicoloured pepper corns.

– Just cook the egg-based Fettuccini and place it in a large serving bowl.
– Gather all the ingredients in different plates and bowls, and place Truffle oil and balsamic vinegar on the side.

To serve: let everyone serve themselves and sprinkle their pasta with Truffle oil and balsamic vinegar. It is delicious! 

Bucatini with tomatoes and “selva negra”

Getting all the ingredients ready for this easy and delicious pasta.

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Cook the Bucatini al dente. The add: tomatoes cut in cubes, “selva negra” ham (high quality ham similar to jambon de Paris), some garlic, basil leaves, olive oil, freshly ground pepper, a little bit of salt (taste the ham first to make sure it is not too salty) and shavings of Parmigiano.
Enjoy!