This Cod with White Wine Saffron Sauce is truly an incredible dish! It sounds fancy, but you can make this dish in under an hour. Saffron is a favorite of mine. I will admit that it is kind of expensive, but a little goes a long way and it is delicious!
What is saffron?
You know I love reading the history of the food I make so when I started my research on Saffron, I was amazed! Saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world. The threadlike red stigmas and the yellow color they impart are quite literally the stuff of legend
Each flower produces only three threads (stigmas) of saffron, and it blooms for only one week each year. The saffron must be harvested—by hand!—in the mid-morning, when the flowers are still closed in order to protect the delicate stigmas inside. It takes about 1,000 flowers to produce just one ounce of saffron. That’s why it’s a little pricey!
The deep reddish threads (stigma) of the crocus turn a deep yellow when they come in contact with liquid. Saffron is used mainly in Persian and Mediterranean cuisine. You can’t possibly make a paella without saffron.
Interesting & Fun Facts
In ancient Egypt it was used as a perfume dye and medicine. It also had a religious use: saffron cakes were used as offerings to the gods. In ancient Mesopotamia, saffron was used as both an aromatic and an aphrodisiac. According to Greek mythology, the god Hermes accidentally struck his friend Croco lethally wounding him. In the spot where blood dripped, Hermes touched his sword and flowers began to grow. These flowers were, well… crocuses! Another reference in Greek mythology has Zeus sleeping on a bed of saffron. It was also thrown on the beds of newlyweds in Ancient Rome (Remember saffron’s aphrodisiac use in ancient Mesopotamia?) LOL.
I really think you will enjoy this dish, the combination of flavors is absolutely amazing! It makes for a beautiful dish on a special occasion or a regular weeknight dinner! I served it on Christmas Eve with homemade pasta. And on a weeknight, over a bed of sautéed garlic spinach!
Now for the wine pairing?
Scout & Cellar 2019 GALLIVANT ROSÉ, it is 35% Syrah, 65% Zinfandel. Lively and refreshing with strawberry, red cherry and fresh melon balanced by limestone on a dry, well-textured frame with a clean finish. For this rosé, grapes were hand-picked from 30-year-old vines. The juice began fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and finished in neutral French Oak barrels. The wine then aged for 3 months in stainless steel before bottling, unfined and lightly filtered.
- 1 lb cod fillet
- 2 tbsp extra virgin Spanish olive oil
- ½ small onion, diced
- 3 shallots, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small red habanero, diced
- 1 medium size red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Fresh chives, optional
Cut the cod fillet into 3 or 4 evenly sized pieces and season them with salt and black pepper.
Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil,
Add the onions and cook until translucent.
Add the garlic and shallots, sauté for 3 minutes.
Add red pepper and habanero, sauté for 3 minutes.
Add lemon zest and saffron threads, stir to coat the sauteed vegetables.
After mixing it all together add 1/2 cup of white wine and broth, give it a gentle mix.
Once the wine/broth comes to a boil add the tomato paste and stir to combine.
Place the cod fillets into the pan and place a lid on the pan, 4 minutes later remove the lid and flip the cod fillets and place the lid back on the pan.
After another 3-4 minutes remove the pan from the heat, add the cod fillets to a dish and spoon the white wine saffron sauce over the fillets.
Garnish with fresh chives, enjoy!