Tagines

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Tom or Mary, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Tom or Mary

    Tom or Mary Guest

    In todays New York Times food section
    (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/29/dining/29kitc.html?_r=1&oref=login) there
    is an article about tagines which are used to cook food in North Africa. I
    was wondering if anyone has had any experience with these. The article
    mentions in passing a "cast iron tagine." When I searched for such a tagine
    (I like cooking with cast iron) I found one at various sites, but they said
    it was not currently available. One comment at Amazon said that tagines
    should have an opening at the top. It was the only negative comment on that
    particular tagine (ceramic) that I found.

    Thanks

    Tom
     
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  2. Tagines are sort of like a Dutch Oven method of cooking. As far as I
    recall there is no vent (or hole) to allow steam to escape - that's why
    they cook so well.
    They are designed for brazier or live coal cooking, though work just as
    well in an oven.
    Most tagines are ceramic and very tall - taller than a Le Cruset Dutch
    Oven - with a flat plate which has a conical top. Most recipes call for
    meats to be browned first in a frypan, placed into the base (plate) of
    the tagine, other ingredients added, including some form of liquid,
    covered with the conical lid then placed over an open
    fire/coals/bbq/gas stove top. The heat creates a steaming vacuum within
    the tagine, cooking and infusing the food with the
    spices/herbs/flavourings.
    A Dutch oven or casserole serves exactly the same purpose, for a
    fraction of the price and is larger, more versatile and useful.
    Tagines look good but they are usually quite small - and food needs to
    be placed in one layer, restricting the volume you can cook at any one
    time. Great for two, but for three or more or a crowd stick to a Dutch
    oven!
     
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