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 were traditionally cooked. Although city Moroccans may be more inclined to use fashionable cookware corresponding to pressure cookers when making stews, tagines are still favored by those who recognize the distinctive, sluggish-cooked taste that the clayware imparts to the food. In addition, tagines stay the cookware of alternative in lots of rural areas as a matter of cultural norms.


Earlier than a new tagine can be used, it's essential to 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 totally different from cooking in a traditional 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 around the tagine and eat by hand, utilizing items of Moroccan bread to scoop up meat, vegetables, and sauce. Since you won't be stirring through 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 can also be placed in the oven. When cooking with a tagine on the stovehigh, the use of an affordable 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 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 meals; use only as a lot heat as essential to keep up a simmer. Tagines may also be used over small fires or in braziers over charcoal. It can be tricky to maintain an adequately low temperature. It is best to make use of a small quantity of charcoal or wood to establish a heat supply after which 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 changes, which can cause the tagine to crack. Do not, for instance, add very hot liquids to a cold tagine (and vice versa), and do not set a hot tagine on a really cold surface. If 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 the beginning, however this really is not essential when cooking in a tagine. You will discover that tagine recipes call for adding the vegetables and meats to the vessel on the very beginning. This is different from conventional pot cooking, where vegetables are added only after the meat has already become tender.

Liquids
Oil is essential to tagine cooking; don't be overly cautious in utilizing it otherwise you'll find yourself with watery sauce or possibly scorched ingredients. In most recipes for 4 to six folks, you may want between 1/four 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 flavor and its health benefits. Those with dietary or health concerns can merely keep away from the sauce when eating.

Much less water is required when cooking in a tagine because the cone-formed top condenses steam and returns it to the dish. When you've erred by adding too much water, reduce the liquids on the finish of cooking right into a thick sauce because a watery sauce just isn't desirable.

It will possibly take a while to reduce a large volume of liquid in a tagine. If the dish is otherwise achieved, you'll be able to careabsolutely pour the liquids into a small pan to reduce quickly, then return the thickened sauce back to the tagine.

Have Endurance
When using a tagine, persistence is required; let the tagine reach a simmer slowly. Poultry takes about 2 hours to cook, while beef or lamb could take up to 4 hours. Strive to not interrupt the cooking by ceaselessly lifting the lid to check on the meals; that's greatest 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 often sufficient for cleaning your tagine. If necessary, you should utilize a very gentle soap but rinse further well since you do not need the unglazed clay to absorb a soapy taste. Pat dry and rub the interior surfaces of the tagine with olive oil before storing it.

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