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Saffron Sauce

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Why I Love This Recipe

Just like in the movie “No Reservations” this sauce contains Makrut (AKA: Kaffir) lime leaves which were the secret to Kate’s Saffron sauce. Personally, I like the Iranian or Italian (Aquila) Saffron. I find Spanish Saffron is not as intense, thus you need to use more, risking the introduction of too much Picrocrocin, which is much more bitter than the Safranal. Also, beware of products such as “Portuguese Saffron” which is actually safflower, not saffron and always buy threads, as the powdered is often cut with turmeric. (This is what is used by alot of restaurants due to increased color)

I suggest using a Sauvignon Blanc with more citrus and grass notes and low minerals this will amplify the makrut lime as well as the hay of the saffron and play down any metallic bitterness. A spanish Albarino works well along with an Italian Pinot Grigio; Chardonnay is a big no, unless it is aged in stainless barrels, the Oak is too strong.

Ingredients You'll Need

1/2 cup shallots, finely minced
4 – 5 Makrut (Kaffir or Wild) lime leaves, chiffonade fine
1/2 cup Sauvignon blanc
1 pinch of Saffron Threads
2 TB Heavy Cream
12 TB unsalted COLD Butter, cut into 1 TB sized pieces
2 TB Fresh Lemon juice
Kosher Salt
Finely ground WHITE pepper to taste (Do not use black pepper or you will have little black flecks in your sauce)


Fill a saucepan with water and set to simmer

In a heavy saucepan, combine shallots, lime leaves and white wine; reduce to 2 TB of liquid.

Reduce heat to low

Add Saffron threads and heavy cream; Stir until desired color is reached.

Strain into a clean stainless steal bowl, place bowl over simmering water.

Begin whisking in the butter one piece at a time, adding the next just before the previous one melts completely; don’t stop whisking or the emulsion might break.

Also, work WITH the simmering water, you may not need to leave it there, just keep placing it over as the sauce cools from the cold butter, then remove again once the sauce is rewarmed.

You want the butter to melt, but you want it to do so very slowly as to not flood the emulsion taking place.

After all the butter has been incorporated, add the lemon juice and the salt and pepper.

Serve over seared Scallops or Seared Albacore Tuna

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