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Moroccan Tagine Cooking


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Just found this thread and am very interested in trying out some of these dishes.

Does anyone know where I can buy a tagine in the Toronto area? I'm sure they're available here but I have no idea where to start my search. Thanks!

Jerry

Jerry, is this store anywhere near you?

There's always tagines.com... casablancamarket.com or even eBay.

Marigene... your chicken looks delicious. The pictures are fine :smile: .

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Jerry, is this store anywhere near you?

There's always tagines.com... casablancamarket.com or even eBay.

Marigene... your chicken looks delicious. The pictures are fine  :smile: .

Yep, it sure is! Thanks for the info. Will get down there this week and pick one up. Thanks!

Jerry

P.S. Nancy, thanks for the welcome. :smile:

There's plenty of room for all God's creatures. Right next to the mashed potatoes.

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My rifi arrived a few days ago. Lucky for me, I hadn't cleaned out my fireplace since the last time I used it. I think that was two years ago. :rolleyes: So, after soaking the tagine in water for a couple hours, I drained it, wiped it dry, smeared it with olive oil and ashes, and baked it for 10 hours at 250 F. Twice.

I made Chicken Tagine with Honeyed Pears and Cinnamon from The Momo Cookbook. :wub:

I can't wait to make it again. The only thing I'll change is the amount of water. The recipe calls for 12.5 ounces of water for 1.25 kg of chicken and that seems to be more than it needs.

- Kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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  • 2 weeks later...

gallery_8685_3672_1319083.jpg

i was given this vessel as a gift. it is glazed inside and out. am i correct that it is for serving only, and that i cannot use it to cook with on a stovetop? thanks very much!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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Yes, it is probably a serving tagine. There are some cooking tagines with colored glaze, but unless they are specifically labeled for cooking, do not cook with them.

You should warm the tagine before placing hot foods in it. Simply run very warm to hot tap water into the bottom of the tagine (that will come in contact with the food) and allow it to warm completely then pour the water out just before you add the food. Just dry the outside.

This will keep the food warm longer also.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In another post, I mentioned that I was planning a Moroccan dinner for 8. Do I need to use several Tagines to prepare enough food? Or must I use a large modern pan and transfer to serving Tagine(s)?

Also, does anyone know of a Moroccan store in LA where I can find spices and tagines? I know someonline sites...

Thanks.

Stephen

PS Any idea about Moroccan coffee??

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These were doing business a couple of years ago.

Mediterranean market, on the corner of Colorado and San Fernando Road in Los Angeles. (east of the I-5)

Kabul on Reseda Blvd., in Reseda, in the Valley. She thinks it is close to Sherman Way. And Islamic Meat market is on Sherman way close to Reseda Blvd., in Reseda.

Fez Market on Vernon, between Crenshaw and Arlington, a few blocks east of the La Brea area.

See if you can get the phone numbers and call first to make sure they are still open.

And ask if they carry tagines. They may have to order them or you can buy online.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I was in Morocco in May and shipped a tagine home. it arrived in about 100 pieces. I went to the tagine web site listed in this thread, and ordered one, but it still hasn't arrived. I ordered one a couple of weeks ago from Sur la Table - it's by Emile Henry, and I made a great-tasting tagine last night.

It's heatproof, so I can use it to cook on the stovetop. It worked really well.

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

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HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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These were doing business a couple of years ago.

Mediterranean market, on the corner of Colorado and San Fernando Road in Los Angeles. (east of the I-5)

Kabul on Reseda Blvd., in Reseda, in the Valley. She thinks it is close to Sherman Way. And Islamic Meat market is on Sherman way close to Reseda Blvd., in Reseda.

Fez Market on Vernon, between Crenshaw and Arlington, a few blocks east of the La Brea area.

See if you can get the phone numbers and call first to make sure they are still open.

And ask if they carry tagines.  They may have to order them or you can buy online.

Thanks for the info. I'll check these places out and report back...

Stephen

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  • 2 weeks later...
These were doing business a couple of years ago.

Mediterranean market, on the corner of Colorado and San Fernando Road in Los Angeles. (east of the I-5)

Kabul on Reseda Blvd., in Reseda, in the Valley. She thinks it is close to Sherman Way. And Islamic Meat market is on Sherman way close to Reseda Blvd., in Reseda.

Fez Market on Vernon, between Crenshaw and Arlington, a few blocks east of the La Brea area.

See if you can get the phone numbers and call first to make sure they are still open.

And ask if they carry tagines.  They may have to order them or you can buy online.

Thanks for the info. I'll check these places out and report back...

Stephen

Well, I've had no luck finding a Moroccan market here in LA. Hard to believe. I did find a Moroccan Import store (called, surprisingly, Moroccan Imports!) that carried furniture and some household goods (tea glasses). I almost bought a fez to wear for the dinner, but...

I ended up ordering from tagines.com and zamourispices.com.

BTW, I found Moroccan wines at astorwines.com. I still haven't found a sources for Mahia (Mahya), a Moroccan (Jewish) eau de vie made from figs - though I did find a fig vodka that I got just for fun (Kleiner Feigling).

Stephen

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I received today the rifi tagine I ordered from tagines.com. I have soaked it, and it is now seasoning in my oven. I have never cooked with clay before: what do I need to do, have, or know prior to using this tagine on my gas stovetop? I've read through this thread and noticed several notes and tips - such as the use of a heat diffuser - scattered about; I find gauging the actual significance of these tips to be difficult. I am terrified that I will manage to break the thing within moments of my first attempt at using it. Could someone possibly throw out a beginner's list of sorts featuring some definitive do's and dont's concerning clay cookware?

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Here are some basic do's and don'ts, starting after you've cured your clay pot:

DON'T heat or cool it quickly. The clay is thick enough that if, say, you have it very cold and you put it on a hot stove, the exterior will expand faster than the interior, and you'll end up with a crack. Similarly, if you have an intense heat source you may be able to heat it up from the center too quickly for the rim to keep up. You can have just as bad effects from putting an intense source of cold into a hot pot. So:

- Don't put a cold pot onto a hot burner.

- Don't pour cold liquids directly into a hot pot.

- Don't put a large pot over a small, intense heat source.

DO keep your temperature changes gentle, for the reasons stated above. Here's what I do:

- DO heat the pot gently over a burner - for instance, when I crank my electric coils up to about medium heat I do it in stages. I start with about 3 (out of 8 or 10) on the burner, let the rifi and its contents come up to temperature, then crank the burner up to 5 or 6 (depending on burner)

- DO keep temperature changes gentle when you're adding ingredients. Liquids can change temperatures quickly. If my pot is hot, I add liquids slowly, and only by pouring them onto something large in the pot instead of directly onto the clay. Dribbling the liquid onto pieces of chicken, instead of in between the pieces of chicken, is an example of what I mean. I also generally heat the liquid first - say, bring it to a simmer over another burner - before adding it.

- somewhere around in these threads is a bit of Paula Wolfert wisdom that goes along the lines of "add hot liquids to hot clay and cold liquids to cold clay". If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed with my wordiness, just remember that bit of wisdom and you're home free.

- If you have a diffuser, use it on your burner until you get a feel for how quickly or slowly your pot responds to changes in heat source. I started out using a diffuser, faithfully, until I got that feel for my clay pots over my burners. In my (electric coil) case, the burners go low enough that the diffuser isn't necessary.

- Most folks will tell you not to clean your pot with detergents, since the clay is porous and may take up flavors from the detergent. They'll say to instead scrub it and let it dry, or at most use baking soda and water to scrub, then rinse and let it dry. I admit, I've been known to use a solution of a little mild detergent and a lot of water, but I never soak the clay in that. I tend to cook stuff that leaves heavily-coated spots that I can't get loose with just scrubbing. I do not use the Approved Method of cleaning.

- Don't figure on heating the pot and browning the meat, then deglazing with liquid, as you'd do with a good skillet. The reasons are stated above. What you do instead, most of the time, is cook the ingredients, get the meat done, then start cooking the liquid down, and then (if necessary) brown the meat. (ETA: you can brown the meat first, but you can't deglaze with a rapid application of liquid.)

- Do figure on using less liquid than the recipe suggests, unless you're using a recipe designed for clay pots. It's really strange to see how much less liquid is needed for clay, but there it is. I don't know why. Several of us discussed it at great length last winter (or was it the winter before?) and I'm still not sure we arrived at the answer.

Those are good basics. I'm sure someone else will chime in with more. Have fun!

...and welcome to eGullet!

Edited to add the info about browning meat first instead of at the end. I hope I made it clearer.

Edited by Smithy (log)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Smithy. that about sums it up for unglazed tagines!

The only other piece of advice: If you cook poultry or meat in your tagine it might be a good idea to avoid cooking fish in it.

Welcome to Egullet.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Smithy. that about sums it up for unglazed tagines!

The only other piece of advice: If you cook poultry or meat in your tagine it might be a good idea to avoid cooking fish in it.

Wolfert, thanks for chiming in!

I've been wanting to ask you about the heat source. How long does it take to cook a meal in a tagine using the original clay brazier and coals instead of over an American-style stove? How much coal goes into the brazier that's intended to heat the tagine? Does coal have to be added as the cooking goes on, or is one batch of coal enough for a meal?

Finally: over the charcoal fire on the brazier, is overheating and cracking of the tagine still a potential danger?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I've been wanting to ask you about the heat source. How long does it take to cook a meal in a tagine using the original clay brazier and coals instead of over an American-style stove?

Chunks of lamb neck and shoulder take about 3 hours, that is one more hour than over a stovetop.

How much coal goes into the brazier that's intended to heat the tagine? Does coal have to be added as the cooking goes on, or is one batch of coal enough for a meal?

It depends on the size of the brazier. I remember our brazier as being half filled with embers.

Finally: over the charcoal fire on the brazier, is overheating and cracking of the tagine still a potential danger?

I think you should wait for the charcoal to die down to embers before adding the tagine.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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OK! It's crunch time. Dinner on Saturday!

I'm having difficulty in the olive department. For Chicken with lemons and Olives Emshmel from Paula's book (Couscous, etc.), what kind of olives should I look for. I don't seem to find olives called "cracked" or "green-brown". I was in Gelsen's in LA and found most of the usual names including just "Green". I did find Picholines and "Moroccan oil cured olives" - these were very dark and dry.

I've got two tagines from tagines.com. One Rifi and one Beldi - this one is glazed on the outside of the top and the inside of the bottom. I cured both - the Rifi with ashes and oil; it looks quite good now. I'm making the chicken in one (the Rifi, I think) and Lamb with prunes and Apples in the other.

Sorry no pics - my digital camera is out for repairs...

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Stephen

Los Angeles

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The book was written back in the early seventies when very few olive varieties were available in the US market.

I suggest you use Picholines when a Moroccan recipe calls for green olives.

For the green-brown olives, I use Mustapha's Bigardier (red) olives from chefshop.com or Turkish red ta-ze from Taste of Turkey.com. Stephen, if you don't have the time to order the green-brown aka 'red,' then just substitute California Grabers.

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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The book was written back in the early seventies when very few olive varieties were available in the US market.

I suggest you use Picholines when a Moroccan recipe calls for green olives.

For the green-brown olives, I use  Mustapha's Bigardier (red) olives from chefshop.com or Turkish red ta-ze from Taste of Turkey.com. Stephen, if you don't have the time to order the green-brown aka 'red,' then just substitute California Grabers.

Thanks so much. I'll have to use Grabers due to time limitations. I should have asked earlier.

I have read (in this thread) that traditional tagines need less water in the recipes. Do you have a suggestion for the degree of reduction - half, 1/3?

Thanks again.

Stephen

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It depends upon the size of the tagine. I would add about 1/2 inch of water.

Thanks. Some more questions (sorry).

1) I read in an earlier post that coking times are increased in traditional tagines. Did I understand that correctly - perhaps in was in a conversation about braziers. I'm cooking over electric elements covered with heat diffusers.

The chicken says 1 hour and the lamb 2. Should I allow for more?

2) I'm planning to prepare the filling for the bisteeya the day before. If possible, I'd like to do more that day.

Can your Harira II be made in advance. I could work it up to (and including) Step 4. The reheat the soup the next day and add the noodles and egg/lemon mixture. What do you think?

Can any part of the tagine recipes (Chicken Emshmel and Lamb with Prunes and Apples) be made in advance?

I much appreciate your (and others') advice.

Stephen

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QUOTE(Wolfert @ Nov 1 2006, 11:11 AM)

It depends upon the size of the tagine. I would add about 1/2 inch of water.

*

Thanks. Some more questions (sorry).

1) I read in an earlier post that coking times are increased in traditional tagines. Did I understand that correctly - perhaps in was in a conversation about braziers. I'm cooking over electric elements covered with heat diffusers.

The lamb is delicious when cooked for an extra hour in a tagine.

I would change the chicken recipe and use legs and thighs. The cooking time will be about one hour.

T

2) I'm planning to prepare the filling for the bisteeya the day before. If possible, I'd like to do more that day. It's fine to prepare the three parts of the bisteeya in advance. Don't bake it until one hour before serving.

your Harira II be made in advance. I could work it up to (and including) Step 4. The reheat the soup the next day and add the noodles and egg/lemon mixture. What do you think? I think it's fine.

Can any part of the tagine recipes (Chicken Emshmel and Lamb with Prunes and Apples) be made in advance? I wouldn't cook the tagine in advance.

I much appreciate your (and others') advice

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Thanks. Some more questions (sorry).

1) I read in an earlier post that coking times are increased in traditional tagines. Did I understand that correctly - perhaps in was in a conversation about braziers. I'm cooking over electric elements covered with heat diffusers.

The lamb is delicious when cooked for an extra hour in a tagine.

I would change the chicken recipe and use legs and thighs. The cooking time will be about one hour.

2) I'm planning to prepare the filling for the bisteeya the day before. If possible, I'd like to do more that day.[

It's fine to prepare the three parts of the bisteeya in advance. Don't bake it until one hour before serving.

your Harira II be made in advance. I could work it up to (and including) Step 4. The reheat the soup the next day and add the noodles and egg/lemon mixture. What do you think?

I think it's fine.

Can any part of the tagine recipes (Chicken Emshmel and Lamb with Prunes and Apples) be made in advance?

I wouldn't cook the tagine in advance.

Thanks. Report to come...

Stephen

Edited by sgreen0 (log)
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Well!

The Moroccan dinner is history. It went extremely well.

The menu ended up like this:

Spiced Olives and Nuts

Bisteeya

served with Ginger Pomegranate Champagne Cocktails

Moroccan Orange Salad

Harira

Pomegranate Granita

Tagine of Lamb with Prunes and Apples

Tagine of Chicken with Olives and Lemon

Spiced Couscous

Spiced Carrots

Moroccan Bread

served with Amazir Maroc Beni M'Tir red wine

M'hanncha (the snake) - we made small individual coils

Moroccan Cake (Le Russe)

Moroccan Oranges

served with Moroccan Mint Tea and Spiced Coffee

I want to thank everyone on this board who contributed to this thread. I learned a lot from you. Special thanks to Paula, whose recipes for Bisteeya, Tagines, Bread, Tea, and Coffee were nothing short of fabulous, and to BekkiM, who generously shared her recipes for the Champagne, Olives, Nuts, Carrots and Couscous.

I had planned to include some photos, but our recently repaired camera didn't cooperate - back to Nikon it goes.

I was surprised at how easy it was to use the tagines (one Rifi and one Beldi). I did use heat diffusers as it was my first time. They seemed quite efficient allowing the tagines to bubble away with the element set to 2 or 3 (out of 9).

Both tagines had excess liquid - especially the lamb. I removed some and reduced some and all was fine. Both meats fell from the bone and melted in the mouth.

The Graber Olives recommended by Paula were amazing - meaty and rich.

I used Preserved Lemons from zamourispices.com. What an amazing depth of flavor! Next time, I'll try to find time to make some myself.

I was unsuccessful in finding Mahia (Mahya) a Fig Eau-de-vie of the Moroccan Jews. In my search I was surprised to find a Fig Vodka (from Germany of all places). It is only 40 proof and on tasting was almost like an aperitif (fairly sweet). So I offered that to wrap it all up.

I'm pleased to report that all our guest left happy and overfed!

Thanks again to everyone.

Stephen

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  • 4 weeks later...

Paula, I've spent a great deal of time trying to prepare a "red" chicken from the Slow Mediterranean Kitchen to cook in my new Rifi tagine (oiled but no ashes available to "age"). But try as I can, I can't figure out how to "twist each wing back up over the neck and fasten legs, wings and neck with one bamboo skewer". Help!

I'm looking forward to your new claypot book.

jc

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You make the yoga pose called "forward bend" or Paschimothanasanalynn

and it looks like this.....gallery_8703_972_762.jpg

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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