Cooking in Real Time

Cooking in Real Time

Zora ONeill

A podcast for practical kitchens

Categories: Arts

Listen to the last episode:

This week I do a little brain dump about saffron, a treasured ingredient that feels fitting for spring. How to buy, what to cook with it, and so on. Plus an easy saffron recipe. Ambient noise of the week: subway. (Sorry.)

Mentioned in the episode:

Frying Pan Food Adventures — fantastic walking tours of Dubai, on semi-hold right now, due to lockdowns, but they have a podcast too, so you can live vicariously!

Saffron all wrapped up to keep the light out

Heray Spice — where I recently bought my ridiculously huge load of saffron, though I see that they sell only through Amazon now, which is less ideal. Still, quality is high.

League of Kitchens — love these online cooking classes! Mab’s Persian class was wonderful.

Persia — cookbook by Naomi Duguid with a lot of good saffron recipes and general guidance.

The Art of Eating — fantastic food magazine, really focused on why certain things taste the way they do. Incredibly educational and well edited.

Chard Stalks with Anchovies — the original Provençal recipe as published in The Art of Eating, which through my inattention and outright laziness turned into…

Chard Stems with Saffron and Cream

Approximately 7g of saffron. Enough for a while!

Turn on your oven to 350-400 — heat depends on how much else you’re cooking and how fast you want this to go.

From a big bunch of chard, cut out the stems — I do this with scissors, folding the leaf onto itself so the stem is kind of the exposed spine, and cutting through the double layer of leaf to remove the stalk. Fine if it’s not super-precise, and you get a little green on the edges.

Rinse your stems well. Don’t cut them more yet, as they start to oxidize.

Crush up a couple of garlic cloves — I like mine chunky. If you have salt-packed anchovies, rinse them and bone them. Or use oil-packed anchovy fillets — one or two, depending on your taste — or the equivalent squeeze of anchovy paste. Heat a little glug of olive oil or butte in a skillet and stir and fry your anchovy just a bit, so the anchovy melts a bit and the garlic is fragrant.

Add a pinch of saffron threads (six or so? eight? not a lot) and stir those around just until you can smell the saffron. Take the skillet off the heat. (If you have saffron water made, the way I describe in the episode, you can stir it in to the half-and-half instead.)

Now trim your chard stems — cut off the brown ends, and I like to cut mine into, say, two-inch lengths, on the bias. They look like fancy little tiles, and they fit on your fork better than whole long stems!

Put the chard stems in a shallow baking dish — ideally something with a lid, and wide enough that the chards stems are not more than a double layer in the bottom. More like a single solid layer, maybe with a few more pieces on top, is ideal.

Pour the garlic/anchovy/saffron oil over and stir a little to combine. Add a few big glugs of half-and-half (or cream) to the dish. You don’t need to cover the chard stems — but about halfway up is...

Previous episodes

  • 44 - Travel Episode 4: All About Saffron (Recipe: Chard Stems with Saffron and Cream) 
    Tue, 16 Mar 2021 - 0h
  • 43 - Travel Episode 3: Quick Koosa Mahshi (Syrian Stuffed Squash…That’s Not Stuffed) 
    Sun, 28 Feb 2021 - 0h
  • 42 - Travel Episode 2: Turkish Eggplant and Green Peppers, plus Yogurt-Cucumber Salad 
    Sat, 13 Feb 2021 - 0h
  • 41 - Travel Episode 1: Egyptian Koshari 
    Sun, 31 Jan 2021 - 0h
  • 40 - Quarantine Episode 8: Pie Crust and Quiche 
    Mon, 25 May 2020 - 0h
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