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Roasted Saffron Potatoes
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John
2 pounds roasting potatoes
1 level teaspoon saffron stamens
1 tablespoon goose fat
1 teaspoon salt
Sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to to 425°F. Put the goose fat into a
roasting pan and place this in the oven.
Using a pestle and mortar, crush the saffron to a powder.
Grate the skin from the potatoes and cut into even sized
cubes of about 1½ inches each . Then grate the cut side
too - this will help to make them extra crispy.
Place the potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with boiling
water. Add 1 level teaspoon of salt. Add half of the saffron
powder, cover with a lid and bring the pan to the boil. Turn
the heat down and simmer for exactly 6 minutes. At the end
of the 6 minutes, carefully drain off the boiling water completely.
Now holding the saucepan lid on firmly, while wearing a
protective oven mitt, give the pan a really good shake rolling
the potatoes around as you do. This will ensure a really crispy
Next remove the roasting pan from the oven and carefully mix
the remaining half of the saffron powder in with the melted fat.
Put the pan over a low direct heat to keep it really hot. Carefully
spoon the potatoes into the fat and turn them over individually
to coat evenly in the saffron. Put the roasting pan back into the
oven on the highest shelf.
Roast the potatoes for 50 to 60 minutes turning occasionally.
Once they are really golden and crisp, remove them from the
roasting pan onto absorbent paper towels and sprinkle with a
little freshly milled sea salt. Serve immediately.
NOTE: Saffron can be pricey if purchased in a local chain
market. Check out health food stores which sell herbs and
spices in bulk or ethnic markets for Spanish or Mexican saffron.
I ask friends returning from Thailand to bring tins of this spice
home from their travels for me.
If Goose fat is unavailable use olive oil.
to learn more about this ancient spice: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron