Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Saffron Cream Sauce

If two years makes a tradition, we have a new Valentine's Day tradition.  We stay away from overpriced restaurant specials and crowds of folks placating their loves with a night out.  We stay in, pop a bottle of bubbly, and settle in with a good movie.

Dinner?  One of the other half's favorites...lobster ravioli.  I cheat and buy pre-made.  (Another confession: We've discovered that we like Buitoni better than the hand-made stuff at the gourmet market.)

But I DO make the sauce...it's a recipe I've developed myself.  It's delicious on the ravioli, but would also be great on chicken, or shrimp and pasta, or steamed asparagus.

Saffron Cream Sauce
Makes a cup or so.

2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup white wine
2 pinches saffron (I grind it in a mortar before adding to the sauce.)
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
Chopped chives to garnish if desired

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the shallot and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add the white wine and let simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the cream and saffron and simmer until reduced, about 20 minutes. (Watch carefully and adjust the heat as needed; you don't want the sauce to scald.)

Finish the sauce with cayenne pepper.  (You can check seasoning, but it usually doesn't need salt.)

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