Vanilla Saffron Sauce Two Ways: Over Red Snapper and Bathing Mussels

by Kindi Lantz May 18, 2018

Vanilla Saffron Sauce Two Ways: Over Red Snapper and Bathing Mussels 

Saffron and vanilla are not often paired together and it’s a wonder why. The earthy, elegant flavor and sweet aromatics of vanilla blend beautifully with the warm and powerful punch packed in each individual thread of saffron. Sadly though, vanilla is reserved for sweet treats and saffron—well, despite its spectacularity in flavor and color,  it’s often forgotten altogether.


I feel that this is quite simply, culinary impiety and it has gone on far too long. So, I set out to develop a recipe that combines the two spices to create a remarkable dish to jolt the taste buds. Here it is:


Vanilla Saffron Sauce

*Note: to make both the red snapper and the mussels, double the sauce recipe.


INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup chopped shallot
  • ½  teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 pinch each of salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • vanilla bean (Tahitian)
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted sweet cream butter, divided
  • ¼  teaspoon saffron threads

PROCEDURE:

  1. Saute the shallot and garlic in 2 TBSP of sweet cream butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and broth.
  3. Simmer until the broth has reduced by half and add in the cream.
  4. Gently crush saffron between two spoons and add to mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes
  5. Extract the seeds from the vanilla pod (here are some tips on how to do this) and add to the mixture, along with the thyme. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
  6. Slice the remainder of the butter into 1 TBSP sized pieces and stir into the sauce one at a time.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

Steam mussels or clams in the sauce, drizzle over baked red snapper, seared scallops, another seafood, or atop grilled spring vegetables. Serve alongside wild mushroom and asparagus risotto or with a simple pasta dish.


FOR THE RED SNAPPER:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle a 1.5-pound filet of red snapper with salt, pepper, and orange zest
  3. Melt 2-3 TBSP of sweet cream butter into a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and mix in 1 TBSP of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
  4. Place the snapper, skin side down in skillet and spoon some of the olive oil/butter/garlic mixture over top.
  5. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until snapper is tender and flaky but not dry.
  6. Pull from skillet and plate immediately, drizzling with the saffron sauce.

FOR THE MUSSELS:

  1. Debeard one pound of mussels and rinse them under cold water.
  2. Add the mussels to the saucepan with the vanilla saffron sauce and cover with a lid.
  3. When the mussels have opened, they are ready to eat.
  4. Don't forget to put an empty bowl on the table to throw your shells in!

I can think of dozens of ways to use this sauce. Let us know what you do with yours!





Kindi Lantz
Kindi Lantz

Author

Kindi Lantz discovered her love of cooking long before she could even reach the kitchen counters; her grandmother gave her access to nearly every ingredient in her kitchen for her (mostly inedible) experiments. Kindi’s culinary capabilities continued to grow even when she had reached her peak height at just under 5’. Her first job was as a Chef’s Assistant on her relatives’ farm at the age of 11. Throughout high school and college, she worked in a wide variety of restaurants—from American pub food to Japanese, Korean to Cajun, and down-home diners to Italian— and with each, she developed techniques and expanded her culinary expertise. For the better part of 10 years, Kindi managed and even took on part ownership of a gourmet catering company in the Portland, OR metro area—it was there, alongside some of the most talented chefs, planners, and entertainers, that Kindi’s passion developed the most. Kindi is obsessed with only using fresh and sustainably-sourced ingredients in the recipes she creates, which is what led her to SloFoodGroup!


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Our Blog

Vanilla Extract Recipe
Vanilla Extract Recipe Using Bourbon, Rum, and Vodka

by Kindi Lantz August 16, 2018

There is no substitute for that pure, vanilla flavor but the rising price of vanilla beans may be forcing you to put those baking projects on hold. Don't. Making vanilla extract from scratch will keep those cakes, breads, and sauces affordable and even more delicious. This post contains a vanilla extract recipe and a discount on vanilla beans. So what's stopping you?

View full article →

Vanilla Bean Heart Vanilla Syrup Recipe
How to Make Vanilla Syrup From Scratch

by Kindi Lantz August 10, 2018

Vanilla syrup is so fantastic, whether you are putting it in a cocktail, coffee, or drizzling it over a sweet treat. But store-bought simple syrups are usually fake or weak on the vanilla flavor and are ALWAYS far-inferior to the real thing. Here's a recipe for a rich vanilla syrup that you won't be able to get enough of! Plus, we've provided a beautiful cocktail for you to use it in!

View full article →

Grades of Vanilla Beans
Understanding the Difference in Grades of Vanilla Beans

by Kindi Lantz August 02, 2018

Grade A vanilla beans and Grade B vanilla beans have key differences. These differences make each of the two grades of vanilla beans optimal for different uses. Which grade of vanilla bean should you use in your recipe? This article will prepare you to choose the perfect vanilla bean for your next culinary venture.

View full article →

Get a taste of what's next

Sign up and receive the latest on sales and new releases, and get a 10% coupon!