Tips For Cooking In A Moroccan Tagine

Tips 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. Although city Moroccans may be more inclined to use fashionable cookware corresponding to pressure cookers when making stews, tagines are nonetheless favored by those that admire the distinctive, 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 could 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 totally different from cooking in a conventional pot in a number of ways.

Presentation
The tagine doubles as both 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. Since you won't be stirring in the course of the cooking, take care the way you arrange or layer ingredients for a wonderful table presentation.

Cooking
Tagines are most often used on the stovetop but will also be positioned in the oven. When cooking with a tagine on the stoveprime, the use of an affordable diffuser between the tagine and the heat source 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 would not crack and break.


The tagine also needs to only be used over low or medium-low heat to keep away from damaging the tagine or scorching the food; use only as much heat as mandatory 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 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 modifications, which can cause the tagine to crack. Do not, for example, add highly regarded liquids to a cold tagine (and vice versa), and don't set a sizzling tagine on a really cold surface. When 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 in the beginning, but this really is not obligatory when cooking in a tagine. You'll notice that tagine recipes call for adding the vegetables and meats to the vessel on the very beginning. This is different from conventional pot cooking, the place vegetables are added only after the meat has already grow to be tender.

Liquids
Oil is essential to tagine cooking; don't be overly cautious in using it otherwise you'll end up with watery sauce or probably scorched ingredients. In most recipes for 4 to six folks, you will need between 1/4 to 1/3 cup of oil (generally part butter), which will combine with cooking liquids to make ample sauce for scooping up with bread. Choose olive oil for the most effective flavor and its health benefits. These with dietary or health concerns can merely avoid the sauce when eating.

Much less water is required when cooking in a tagine because the cone-shaped prime condenses steam and returns it to the dish. If you happen to've erred by adding an excessive amount of water, reduce the liquids at the finish of cooking right into a thick sauce because a watery sauce just isn't desirable.

It could possibly take some time to reduce a large quantity of liquid in a tagine. If the dish is otherwise carried out, you possibly can caretotally pour the liquids right into a small pan to reduce quickly, then return the thickened sauce back to the tagine.

Have Endurance
When utilizing a tagine, persistence is required; let the tagine reach a simmer slowly. Poultry takes about 2 hours to cook, while beef or lamb might take up to 4 hours. Attempt not to interrupt the cooking by continuously lifting the lid to check on the food; that is best left toward the end of cooking if 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 mandatory, you need to use a very delicate cleaning soap but rinse further well since you don't want the unglazed clay to soak up a soapy taste. Pat dry and rub the interior surfaces of the tagine with olive oil before storing it.

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