I'll admit I was at rather unsure what to do when I unwrapped the saffron, having never cooked with it before. After doing some research on the intartoobs, here's what I found:1 - If it's not expensive, it's probably not really saffron.2 - Store it in a cool, dark place and it will last for years.3 - Just use a small pinch. Too much, and your food can take on a medicinal flavor.4 - Crush the threads and let them steep in some sort of liquid for 5-20 minutes to allow flavor to develop before using.That said, I decided to make a saffron cous cous salad. My bill for this was about $11 for meat, frozen peas & carrots, a can of corn, an onion and some garlic. However be prepared to spend quite a bit more if you don't happen to have any saffron on hand. I'm normally not one to look up the cost of gifts because, well, that's just tacky. But I chose to this time, given the nature of my show and knowing that saffron is rather costly. At my local store, 0.06 ounces will run you about $23. Fortunately, that 0.06 oz. will go a very long way.INGREDIENTS:1 large onion, finely chopped3-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped1/2 lb frozen peas & carrots, thawed *1 can corn, drained1 lb ground beef2 1/2 C cous cous **4 tbsp buttersaffron (just a pinch)extra virgin olive oilsalt & pepper to tasteEQUIPMENT:skilletsauce panlarge bowlHOW TO:Heat 1-2 Tbsps olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. When translucent, add beef (salt/pepper to taste) and cook until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.Place dry cous cous into a large bowl.In sauce pan, add 2 1/2 C water, 4 Tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp salt, and a pinch of saffron. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes. Bring to a boil. Pour over the cous cous, stir, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Add meat, corn, peas & carrots, and 2-3 Tbsp olive oil and stir. Voila!Music for this episode was "Watching Snails" by The Hybiscus Journals. Be sure to check out their new website at http://members.cox.net/thehybiscusjournals* Just run them under lukewarm water while the cous cous soaks.** If you find bugs in your cous cous do not - I repeat, DO NOT dump it down the sink thinking the garbage disposal will take care of it. It won't. A room mate of mine learned that one the hard way.
I created this project in order to share the recipes that I've come up with (and that I hope to continue creating) for folks living on a tight budget.What does that mean for you? Basically, you'll be able to spend as little money as possible to cook a great meal once, then eat from that meal for several days.I guess I should probably list the absolute basics for equipment that you should own and ingredients you should have on hand in order to pull most of these recipes off. (The nice thing about the ingredients is that once you have them, they'll last for a while.)Cookware:- a large stock pot (at least 8 quarts)- a sauce pan (two can be helpful)- a skillet- a baking dish- a couple of good spoons (one slotted, one not)- a spatula- a huge bowl (for storing left-overs!) Ingredients:- salt- pepper- bay leaves- all purpose flour