Ideas For Cooking In A Moroccan Tagine

Ideas For Cooking In A Moroccan Tagine

Many Moroccan dishes take their name from a tagine, which is the clay or ceramic vessel in which they have been traditionally cooked. Though urban Moroccans could also be more inclined to use trendy cookware corresponding to pressure cookers when making stews, tagines are still favored by those that recognize the distinctive, gradual-cooked taste that the clayware imparts to the food. In addition, tagines remain the cookware of alternative in lots of rural areas as a matter of cultural norms.


Before a new tagine can be utilized, you have to season it so it is strengthened to withstand moderate cooking temperatures. As soon as the tagine is seasoned, it is easy to use. However there's more to know―cooking in a tagine is completely different from cooking in a standard pot in a number of ways.

Presentation
The tagine doubles as each a cooking vessel and a serving dish that keeps the meals warm. Dishes served in a tagine are traditionally eaten communally; diners gather across the tagine and eat by hand, using items of Moroccan bread to scoop up meat, vegetables, and sauce. Because you won't be stirring during the cooking, take care the way you arrange or layer ingredients for a gorgeous table presentation.

Cooking
Tagines are most frequently used on the stovetop however will also be placed within the oven. When cooking with a tagine on the stovetop, the use of an inexpensive diffuser between the tagine and the heat supply is essential. A diffuser is a flat metal paddle that sits between the burner and the tagine and, because the name says, diffuses the heat so the ceramic does not crack and break.


The tagine also needs to only be used over low or medium-low heat to avoid damaging the tagine or scorching the food; use only as much heat as obligatory to keep up a simmer. Tagines may be used over small fires or in braziers over charcoal. It can be tricky to keep up an adequately low temperature. It is best to use a small quantity of charcoal or wood to determine a heat source and then periodically feed small handfuls of new fuel to keep the fire or embers burning. This way you may avoid too high a heat.


Keep away from subjecting the tagine to excessive temperature modifications, which can cause the tagine to crack. Don't, for example, add highly regarded liquids to a cold tagine (and vice versa), and don't set a scorching tagine on a very cold surface. In the event you use a clay or ceramic tagine in an oven, place the cold tagine in a cold oven on a rack, then set the temperature to no more than 325 to 350 F.

Some recipes might call for browning the meat at first, however this really isn't needed when cooking in a tagine. You'll notice that tagine recipes call for adding the vegetables and meats to the vessel at the very beginning. This is different from typical pot cooking, the place vegetables are added only after the meat has already change into tender.

Liquids
Oil is essential to tagine cooking; do not be overly cautious in using it otherwise you'll end up with watery sauce or presumably scorched ingredients. In most recipes for four to six folks, you may need between 1/4 to 1/3 cup of oil (sometimes part butter), which will mix with cooking liquids to make ample sauce for scooping up with bread. Choose olive oil for the best taste and its health benefits. These with dietary or health considerations can merely keep away from the sauce when eating.

Less water is required when cooking in a tagine because the cone-formed top condenses steam and returns it to the dish. For those who've erred by adding too much water, reduce the liquids on the finish of cooking right into a thick sauce because a watery sauce will not be desirable.

It could take some time to reduce a large quantity of liquid in a tagine. If the dish is in any other case finished, you possibly can careabsolutely pour the liquids into a small pan to reduce quickly, then return the thickened sauce back to the tagine.

Have Persistence
When using a tagine, patience is required; let the tagine attain a simmer slowly. Poultry takes about 2 hours to cook, while beef or lamb might take as much as four hours. Strive not to interrupt the cooking by steadily lifting the lid to check on the meals; that's best left toward the top of cooking if you add ingredients or check on the level of liquids.

Cleaning
Hot water and baking soda (or salt) are often enough for cleaning your tagine. If obligatory, you should use a really delicate soap however rinse extra well since you don't need the unglazed clay to absorb a soapy taste. Pat dry and rub the interior surfaces of the tagine with olive oil earlier than storing it.

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