Buttered Saffron Rice

Yield: 6 Servings
2 t Saffron;leaf saffron
2 T Milk; warm
1 T -Salt
2 c Rice, basmati
4 T Butter
"The darker (the redder) the saffron colour, the better the quality. It
usually comes from Spain, but the best, really expensive stuff, is
grown in Kashmir, where I went to see it growing. There are many
different grades. Watch out for fake or dyed saffron. Buy it from a
reputable source. To use it in a recipe, I roast it in a cast-iron pan
until it's crisp to draw out the colour, then crumble it lukewarm milk
and let it sit for three to four hours."
Place saffron in small, dry, hot pan over medium heat about 1 minute or
just until fragrant. Crumble into milk. Fill large pot with about 13
cups water; add salt and bring to boil. Meanwhile, place rice in medium
bowl and cover with cold water. Immediately drain rice through
colander. Wash and drain two more times. When water is boils, add rice
and stir once; bring to boil. Cook 5 minutes; rice should be slightly
hard in the centre. Drain in colander and place in ovenproof dish.
Drizzle saffron milk over rice, tossing over a couple of times very
gently. Divide butter into four pieces; place over rice. Cut pieces of
aluminium foil 2 inches larger than rim of dish; place on top of dish;
place lid on foil. Bake in preheated 300F oven to 50 minutes, checking
after 40 minutes to see if rice is cooked. Serve saffron-coloured
streaked rice spooned on warmed platter. SERVES:6

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