Saturday, December 27, 2014

I Woke Up in Love This Morning - Creamy Saffron Paella Salad

I woke up in love this morning
I woke up in love this morning
Went to sleep with you on my mind
I woke up in love this morning
I woke up in love this morning
Went to sleep with you on my mind

I woke up at 4:13 this morning for what I thought was the usual reason, but soon realized I was in the midst of an Insane Itching Episode, the kind that makes me want to shred my skin from my body.  I finally had to take a hydroxizine, something I haven't needed in months, and relief slowly took over.  In the meantime, my mind was consumed with those two containers of white rice that accompanied our order from the Chinese take-out last night.  I thought about making arancini - Italian rice balls - but I did not have all the ingredients, not even close, and besides, I did not feel like frying yet again.

Then I considered some kind of rice salad.  I have been making a wonderful Paella Salad for years, which I like to serve as part of a brunch buffet, and I had most of the ingredients, so after a half hour or so of noodling about on the Internet I made my decision.  Well, sort of, because I wanted to change the dressing.  Actually, I needed to change the dressing, because normally I would cook the rice in chicken broth imbued with saffron.  Since the rice is already cooked and cooled, I decided to try a saffron mayonnaise dressing instead of the clear Italian dressing I would normally use to capture that lovely saffron flavor.  I made a few other minor changes to my original recipe, and this is the result.

Creamy Saffron Paella Rice Salad

Saffron Mayonnaise Dressing:
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon hot water
2/3 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic
Kosher salt
White pepper
Cayenne pepper

Soak the saffron threads in the water for at least 5 minutes.  In a mixing bowl, add the saffron water and threads to the mayonnaise.  Add the lemon juice, and whisk together.  With a microplane, grate in a very small amount of garlic, maybe 1/4 of the clove.  Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, to taste. Whisk everything together and refrigerate the dressing while you assemble the rest of the salad.

Rice Salad:
1 large container cooked white rice (Chinese take-out), chilled, broken up into a large missing bowl
1 cup frozen petit peas, defrosted under warm water and well-drained
1 large plum tomato, seeded and chopped
1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts, sliced
1/4 cup chopped bell peppers, any colors (I used a combination of red and orange mini sweet peppers, which is what I happened to have in the refrigerator)
1 - 1/2 cup cooked white meat chicken, cubed small
4 oz. (about 3/4 cup) diced Hillshire Farms kielbasa
1 1/2 cup flake style imitation crab, broken up by hand

Combine the rice salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Toss gently to combine.  With a rubber spatula, fold the saffron mayonnaise into the rice salad.  This recipe makes quite a lot, so feel free to cut it in half for smaller groups.

*EDITED 12/28/14 - if the rice salad seems dry, prepare another batch or half batch of dressing, and fold into the salad.

Okay ... the Van Gogh episode is on Doctor Who, get ready to leak tears.

No comments:

Post a Comment