Kitchen Guide

Straw Mushroom

Straw Mushrooms are named for their growing environment ?straw- and are cultivated throughout Asia. They have globe-shaped caps, are stemless and have a musty flavor. They are available in cans but need to be drained and rinse before use.

Saffron

General Description

Saffron is the stigma of Crocus sativus, a flowering plant in the crocus family. Saffron, the world's most expensive spice, is costly because more than 225,000 stigmas must be hand picked to produce one pound. In its pure form, saffron is a mass of compressed, threadlike, dark orange strands.

Taste and Aroma Description

Saffron has a spicy, pungent, and bitter flavor with a sharp and penetrating odor.

A Few Ideas to Get You Started

A little pinch goes a long way with Saffron. Use it in Italian risottos, Spanish chicken and rice, French seafood stews and Scandinavian sweet breads.

 

Sesame Seed

Sesame Seed is the seed of an annual herb, Sesamum indicum, which grows well in hot climates. Sesame Seed is the most commonly produced seed. The yellowish, red, or black seeds are used in bread products, stir-fries, Jewish and Chinese confectionaries, and Middle Eastern dishes. Sesame Seeds have a nut-like, mild flavor.Sesame Seeds are easy to toast. Place them in a pan and stir over meduim heat for a minute or two until they brown lightly. Add Sesame Seeds to cookie doughs, pie pastry, and yeast breads. Sprinkle over creamed spinach, buttered noodles, eggplant dishes, and mixed vegetable stir-fries. Blend with butter or mayonnaise to make a nutty spread for chicken, turkey, or tuna sandwiches.

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