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SAFFRON RICE

1/4 t. saffron threads
3 T warm milk
1 T butter
1/2 c raisins, currents, or dried cranberries
1/2 c cashew pieces or sliced almonds or pistachio pieces
1-1/2 c. long-grained white rice
3 c. water
1 T. sugar or honey

Measure the saffron threads into a small bowl and crush them with
the back of a spoon. Heat the milk (do not boil) and add to the
bowl, stirrinng to dissolve the saffron. Stir in the sugar, and
let stand while preparing rice.

In a small pot or frying pan, melt the butter and saute the raisens
and nuts over very low heat for 2 minutes. Boil the water, add
the rice and stir with a fork. Cover the pot and cook over low to
medium heat for 12-15 min, until the rice has absorbed much of the
water. Add the saffron, milk and sugar mixture and stir gently
with a fork. Add the butter, raisins, and nuts and stir again. Be
careful while stirring not to break the individual grains or the
rice will become mushy. Cover the pot and cook another 10 min. or
so until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is completely
cooked. (If there is liquid left when the rice is done, cook for
a couple of minutes with the lid off.) The color of the rice will
be bright yellow, and the saffron will smell wonderful. Serve
immediately.

serves 4-6.

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