Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shrimp with Saffron Rice

Saffron is one of these spices that I don't use a lot. For once, real saffron is expensive. Then, French people don't use it that often in their daily cuisine! The only French two dishes I can think of that always require Saffron are Bouillabaisse, a fish soup that often served in the South of France (it originated in Marseille),and Sauce Rouille, which, as it turns out, is mostly served with a Bouillabaisse... I have personally never made my own Bouillabaisse and since I don't like raw garlic, I tend to avoid Sauce Rouille!  My mother did have a few tiny-tiny boxes of Saffron among all the other spices. They were tiny yellow boxes, the size of a watch battery, sold together in a glass spice jar. Since my siblings and I were always reorganizing the spices (that was one of our favorite game in the kitchen!), we could not resist playing with the little Saffron boxes. Of course, our mother would not let us, which only increased our interest in Saffron. While I remember playing with the yellow boxes, I don't remember what my mother was using it Saffron in (I'll have to ask her).

Because I  found an affordable jar of saffron the other day I bought it, thinking that I would be able to find une recette ou deux to use it beyond Bouillabaisse and Sauce RouilleRisotto is not one of them because my husband is no big fan of dislikes mushy rice, and hence Risotto (and that's an understatement.) Paella is not either because it's too time-consuming to make. However, I thought that I could cook use Saffron with long-grain rice instead.
It did not take me long to make this dish, which has now become one of my emergency dinners. My children loved the beautiful yellow-orange color Saffron gave to the rice... and they even asked for what it was. I did show them my tiny jar of Saffron but did not let them play with it either! Chances are, they'll love Saffron even more than I do! Bon Appétit!

- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- Long grain rice
- Shrimp
- A few Saffron threads (some for the rice and some for the shrimp)
- Crème Fraîche
- Olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste

  • Cook rice with Saffron threads according to instructions. 
  • In the meantime, in a pan, over medium heat, saute the onion in olive oil. 
  • Add the shrimp and saute until the shrimp are fully cooked.
  • Add Creme Fraiche and another thread or two of Saffron to the shrimp. Season with salt and black pepper
  • Serve over rice.
My Personal Comments:
  • You could do without crème fraîche but I would add a little bit of white wine to create a sauce.
  • The shrimp have to be eaten that same day. 
  • I use frozen shrimp; I added frozen peas for extra vegetables.


  1. Saffron rice is a favourite of mine as well. Except I don't actually use saffron but tumeric, often called poor man's saffron. It is much more affordable.

  2. I love, love, love saffron. And this dish looks wonderful. Sadly, my hisband is allergic to shrimp, so I'll have to wait for a night when he's not home so that I can make this. Yum!