Crispy Saffron Rice Cakes

This side is based on Tachin, a crispy baked rice dish from Persia. It’s a little different though since I haven’t got everything on hand, and I wanted to make the dish a little easier to make. Either way, if you give this one a try, you will have a tremendous, crispy, and very yellow addition to your plate that pairs very well as a side with seafood and chicken. Frankly, it just makes rice a little more fun.

I’m planning to serve this with Calamari and Sweet Pepper Sauce and sauteed onions and tomatoes.

Time: 40-45 Minutes (mostly hands off time)

Ingredients:

  • Any long grain white rice (about 1/4 cup dry is good for a serving size). I am using Arroz, but Basmati will do well too. You just want to try to avoid medium (e.g. Arborio) or short grain (e.g. sushi) rices because they tend to clump when cooked. If that’s what you’ve got in the pantry though, give it a try…it will still be delicious, and you may find something new.
  • Saffron. This can be a little hard to get sometimes, so if you don’t have access, don’t be discouraged. A little turmeric and paprika can substitute in a pinch. It will alter the flavour a little, but it’ll still be tasty….and very yellow.
  • Eggs (1 for every two servings is good)
  • Lemon Zest and green onion (optional, but it will go well with my other foods tonight, so I’m going for it)

Method:

  • In a glass vessel, steep your saffron in some hot water (redundant?) until the water turns a nice shade of yellow.
  • Using a combination of the Saffron water (including saffron stems), cook your rice according to the packaging instructions. **If not using saffron, add a little turmeric and paprika to the water that you’re cooking the rice in.
  • When the rice is cooked, transfer it to a bowl, and let it cool down a little
  • When the rice is around room temperature, mix in your eggs, lemon zest, green onion ribbons, and/or any other seasonings you like.
  • Heat up a pan (I’m going cast iron here because that’s what I do), and spray it with some oil or (even better) melt a little butter.
  • Either form the rice into round cakes or press it into your pan if you’re using a small cast iron pan
  • Cook the cakes on each side until golden brown and crispy. Since I’m using a small cast iron pan, I’m going to cook the bottom until crispy and then stash the whole pan in the oven to finish rather than flipping so I can maintain my shape for plating.
  • Plate, Devour, and Enjoy!

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