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 had been traditionally cooked. Though city Moroccans could also be more inclined to use fashionable cookware reminiscent of pressure cookers when making stews, tagines are still favored by those who admire the unique, sluggish-cooked taste that the clayware imparts to the food. In addition, tagines remain the cookware of alternative in many rural areas as a matter of cultural norms.


Earlier than a new tagine can be used, you must season it so it is strengthened to withstand moderate cooking temperatures. Once the tagine is seasoned, it is straightforward 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 collect across the tagine and eat by hand, utilizing pieces of Moroccan bread to scoop up meat, vegetables, and sauce. Because you won't be stirring throughout the cooking, take care the way you arrange or layer ingredients for a gorgeous table presentation.

Cooking
Tagines are most often used on the stoveprime but will also be placed in 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, as the name says, diffuses the heat so the ceramic doesn't 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 a lot heat as crucial to keep up a simmer. Tagines may additionally be used over small fires or in braziers over charcoal. It may be tricky to take care of an adequately low temperature. It is best to use a small quantity of charcoal or wood to establish a heat source and then periodically feed small handfuls of new fuel to keep the fire or embers burning. This way you'll keep away from too high a heat.


Keep away from subjecting the tagine to extreme temperature changes, which can cause the tagine to crack. Do not, for example, add very hot liquids to a cold tagine (and vice versa), and don't set a sizzling tagine on a really cold surface. Should 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 may call for browning the meat at the beginning, however this really isn't necessary when cooking in a tagine. You'll discover that tagine recipes call for adding the vegetables and meats to the vessel on the very beginning. This is different from typical pot cooking, where vegetables are added only after the meat has already develop into tender.

Liquids
Oil is essential to tagine cooking; do not be overly cautious in using it or you'll end up with watery sauce or possibly scorched ingredients. In most recipes for four to 6 individuals, you may need between 1/four to 1/3 cup of oil (generally part butter), which will mix with cooking liquids to make ample sauce for scooping up with bread. Select olive oil for the perfect flavor and its health benefits. Those 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-shaped top condenses steam and returns it to the dish. In the event you've erred by adding too much water, reduce the liquids at the finish of cooking right into a thick sauce because a watery sauce will not be desirable.

It may well take a while to reduce a big volume of liquid in a tagine. If the dish is otherwise completed, you'll be able to caretotally pour the liquids right into a small pan to reduce quickly, then return the thickened sauce back to the tagine.

Have Persistence
When using a tagine, endurance is required; let the tagine attain a simmer slowly. Poultry takes about 2 hours to cook, while beef or lamb could take as much as four hours. Try to not interrupt the cooking by regularly lifting the lid to check on the meals; that is finest left toward the top of cooking while you add ingredients or check on the level of liquids.

Cleaning
Hot water and baking soda (or salt) are normally sufficient for cleaning your tagine. If obligatory, you can use a very gentle cleaning soap however rinse extra well since you don't need the unglazed clay to soak up a soapy taste. Pat dry and rub the interior surfaces of the tagine with olive oil earlier than storing it.

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