Thursday, August 3, 2006

Some Delicious South Beach Diet Friendly Dinners

This will be a quick post...I can't believe the weekend is here already.... I just wrote about last weekend! But I did want to share a couple of South Beach Dietfriendly dinners we've eaten this week to compensate for the rich desserts we shared at Waupoos Winery and followed by more ice cream with our niece Katie at Hollywood Gelato. And of course, everything is made with wonderful herbs because I can't imagine a meal without them, so I get to add more entries in Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging Event which is hosted this week by Christa over at Calendula & Concrete . Check the bottom of the post for the saffron factoid.

I used a couple of cookbooks that I rediscovered while trying to do the Lucky Seven challenge. One of my favorites is Fearless in the Kitchenby Christine Cushing (you can see her on FoodTV).

and the other is Quick Vegetarian Pleasuresby Jeanne Lemlin, both have somehow languished on the bookshelf for way too long. This Saffron Shrimp on Couscous Salad is a marriage of the two. I also found the recipe for this flank steak marinated in a vinaigrette in Everyday Food .


Saffron threads are what make many Spanish dishes so wonderful. They stain the food a gorgeous yellow and have such a unique musty yet sweet aroma. Wikipedia is
Has a lovely shot of the crocus the threads come from. Here's their definition
"Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), a species of crocus in the family Iridaceae. The flower has three stigmas, which are the distal ends of the plant's carpels. Together with its style, the stalk connecting the stigmas to the rest of the plant, these components are often dried and used in cooking as a seasoning and colouring agent. Saffron, which has for decades been the world's most expensive spice by weight,[1][2] is native to Southwest Asia.[2][3] It was first cultivated in the vicinity of Greece.[4]

Saffron is characterised by a bitter taste and an iodoform- or hay-like fragrance; these are caused by the chemicals picrocrocin and safranal.[5][6] It also contains a carotenoid dye, crocin, that gives food a rich golden-yellow hue. These traits make saffron a much-sought ingredient in many foods worldwide. Saffron also has medicinal applications.

The word saffron originated from the 12th-century Old French term safran, which derives from the Latin word safranum. Safranum is also related to the Italian zafferano and Spanish azafrán.[7] Safranum comes from the Arabic word afar (أَصْفَر),
which means "yellow," via the paronymous za-farān (زَعْفَرَان), the name of the spice in Arabic.[6]"

This site says that 75,000 flowers are needed to produce 1 lb/500g of saffron threads! So just use a pinch - it's very effective and very wonderful. Add it to any rice , pasta or couscous dish you usually prepare and you won't believe the magical transformation.

By the way, I've put some of the saffron sauce aside to use as a marinade for the chicken I'm serving tonight....stay tuned. And have a great weekend.

Related links:


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

This flank steak looks gorgeous!...

Kalyn said...

I'm lucky to have a friend who brings me some Saffron from Iran once in a while. All these recipes look wonderful.

J said...

hi ruth, the saffron shrimp with couscous looks very very enticing, although of course the entire menu sounds lovely!

Dianne said...

Those saffron shrimps look to die for, I'd certainly like to eat them! Beef looks pretty good too, just how I like it!