Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Moroccan Tagine Cooking


Recommended Posts

Here is what I would do.

Following the recipe on page 177: Marinate the shad roe for about an hour in half of the charmoula.

Meanwhile, rinse and dry the thin-sliced potatoes (red bliss). Oil the inside of the tagine, sprinkle with a bit of the charmoula, layer onions, potatoes and tomatoes twice, adding a little charmoula here and there. Set the tagine on the middle  oven rack, turn the heat to 400 F and bake for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are  just tender.

Remove the tagine to a wooden work surface. Use a flat spatula to turn the potatoes, tomatoes and onions once. Nestle the shad into the center. Return the tagine to the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Raise the oven heat to broil. Baste the shad with some of the oily drippings and finish the cooking under the broiler, about 2 minutes. Serve directly from the baking dish with some lemon wedges.

Paula, Thanks for the great direction. Just one more question...my souss tagine came with instructions that says it can with stand up to 300 degrees oven temperature. Since this recipe calls for more than 400 and even broiling, should I be using other oven safe dishes instead, or should I just make sure that the oven is cold when I put the tagine in?

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

very good question. Don't do it with the souss or the riffi tagines..

My tagra which is for fish can take a much higher temperature.

You are in unknown territory, so here is what I would do:

Cook the potatoes, onions, and tomatoes for a much longer time at 300;then nestle in the shad roe; and continue baking at 300 until it tests done.

Don't forget to make the charmoula without any kind of lemon or vinegar. You'll add it later on.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got my tagine last week, and made my first effort, which came out quite delicious. It is a chicken tagine with prunes and dried jujubes.

Here it is after the cooking was finished:

CIMG0693.jpg

I wrote up a description of what I did on my blog, with a few more pictures. Thanks to all on this thread for inspiring me to get the tagine, to learn the technique, and to cook great food!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another meal with the tagine. This time I cooked a whole chicken, along with a selection of root veg, preserved lemons, prunes and brocolli. The chicken was rubbed with ras-el-hanout and garlic.

I like this technique, no water is added, yet you get a concentrated broth, the chicken is very tender, but very moist.

gallery_1643_978_724898.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got my tagine last week, and made my first effort, which came out quite delicious. It is a chicken tagine with prunes and dried jujube

That is such a brilliant idea to join moist, velvety prunes with jewel-like jujubes! Did you buy them at an Asian market? Do you soak them first?

Another meal with the tagine. This time I cooked a whole chicken, along with a selection of root veg, preserved lemons, prunes and brocolli. The chicken was rubbed with ras-el-hanout and garlic.

Adam: You constantly amaze me with your flavor-packed ideas: spiced chicken with a crisp skin smothered in a delectable mix of prunes, broccoli and preserved lemons. Sounds so incredibly toothsome.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a little note about heat diffusers, in particular for electric stoves.

I was invited for coffee to the home of a neighbor who has been away for two months visiting her daughter and SIL who are now living in Uraguay. She was showing me some of the things she brought home, including a soapstone cookpot which is similar to one I have had for years. However she also had a heat diffuser for use on her electric store that interested me. It is very simply made.

All it is is two long coil springs, the kind that one finds on a screen door, coiled and fastened together (with what looks like paper clips) so it lays flat when on a flat surface.

The spring steel that these springs are made of is pretty tough so it should handle the heat just fine.

She has yet to use the pot, but we tested the diffuser on her stove, which has smooth flat metal burners, and it worked fine to heat up a heavy skillet.

It isn't large enough to cover the largest burner on her cooktop but her husband said he could add another spring or maybe two so it would fit exactly.

How about that for an idea..........

She told me that young boys make these in the open air market as well as trivets and other useful gadgets and sell them in the market or door-to-door. They also make a whisk with the springs by wrapping a spring around one end of a stick. I have a similar whisk that I have had for many years, purchased in Mexico, but apparently they are made and used in South America 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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chicken tagine

and couscous

in the large steamer from Clay Coyote

gallery_17399_60_128490.jpg

gallery_17399_60_15980.jpg

gallery_17399_60_2717.jpg

gallery_17399_60_229482.jpg

gallery_17399_60_127356.jpg

gallery_17399_60_61631.jpg

"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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is such a brilliant idea to join moist, velvety prunes with jewel-like jujubes! Did you buy them at an Asian market? Do you soak them first?

Yes, I got the jujubes at an Asian market (they are dirt cheap). I did soak them for about fifteen minutes. I actually would have soaked them longer if I had thought about it ahead of time. I added the soaking liquid instead of water. One thing I forgot is that they have little seeds in them. Next time I'll de-seed it somehow before adding it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I received my Rifi Tagine last week and cured/aged it late Saturday through the night into Sunday morning. I decided to do the 8 hour bake instead of the shorter version. I aged it twice with mesquite wood ash from Pizza Nova. There was a bigger difference in color the second time. Some day, I'll do it again but it was getting messy and I was ready to move on. Anyway, here's the pic...

gallery_22252_902_144095.jpg

Below is the very first dish I made in my Rifi and in a clay pot of any kind. It's from Paula's book CousCous and other good food from Morocco. It's the Chicken with Lemon's and Olives Emshmel. I was unable to use preserved lemon's as I have yet to get the ball rolling with that but I will make this again with the PL as I thought this dish was great as it was. This is the before pic and the only one I made because I forgot to take an after pic...

gallery_22252_902_903797.jpg

Here is the second dish I've ever made in...well you know. I had some short ribs in the freezer that I thawed out after coming across Paula's recipe for Beef Tagine with Cauliflower. the flavor was awesome even if the short ribs I got on sale sucked. They looked good in the package but after thawing out, they were aweful. I proceeded anyway. I went ahead and boiled the cauliflower first as per the recipe but I probably could've just put them on top of the meat in the Tagine to cook and finish in the oven per the recipe. This was very very good dispite the bad quality meat. Here is a just getting started pic...

gallery_22252_902_543691.jpg

A few thoughts on my first experience with cooking in the Tagine. First, the amount of liquid that is generated by the food astounded me. I cut the water for the Chicken recipe in half and I still had to reduce and thicken the sauce. The water actually increased to the point of overflowing. For the beef dish, I put in about a quarter cup and again, the liquid was three times as much as orginally I put in. There was a lot of fat in this dish...did I mention my short ribs sucked?

What also surprised me was that I didn't get the reduced rich sauce that I've been reading about on this thread. The Rifi didn't absorb as much, if any, liquid as I had invisioned.

Another thing that was new to me today was using a heat diffuser. I used the Simmermat and noticed that even on the electric stove setting of 2, the liquid was slowly bubbling in the Rifi. I thought for sure the heat would not be high enough to bubble the liquid but I was wrong. Was this too high for claypot cooking? Should there be just constant heat but no bubbling? I was totally amazed at how the pot retains the heat too.

And most importantly, the taste of all this was overwelming. The chicken was the most tender, most moist and most flavorful I've ever made or eatin. I've braised chicken in my Staub before but it was never as fall-apart tender as this...incredible. The beef while not the greatest, still had loads of flavor and tenderness. The jury is still out on this though since I've made more tender short ribs in the Staub but this meat was decidedly not the best anyway. So I will do this one again with higher quality meat.

So! My first attempt went pretty well, I think. I'm going to start looking for recipes to make next weekend. Thanks Paula for your help and contributions to this forum. I would have never made the claypot/Tagine plunge if it weren't for your posts here. Thanks. I look forward to many more excellent dinners and left-over's.

Cheers,

Bob

p.s. Hey Tagra...hey Chamba...start packing for a long stay at my place. :biggrin:

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did not add any water to the chicken tagine pictured above. I have found that in most cases the ingredients produce so much liquid is produced that water is not required. This is with cooking on stovetop. Possibly with oven cooking one would need to use additional liquid because the top is not used.

The chickens we have here in the US may be fatter and the flesh has more moisture because of how they are raised. I used thighs only for my tagine and at the end the chicken and vegetables were swimming in liquid, not all was fat.

There also was a little liquid in the chickpeas after I drained them - they had been soaking overnight - but that was all.

"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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Heads up, those of you who have been lusting after Paula's tagra: www.tagines.com now carries Rifi tagras* in 3 sizes and shapes!

(*What is the plural of tagra? Tagaraan?)

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

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a dish Rachel made tonight, although sans actual Tagine:

Moroccan-Style Chicken Tagine with Tri-Color Couscous

gallery_2_4_173919.jpg

The couscous was purchased at Kalustyan's, a middle eastern grocery/spice purveyor in NYC.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a dish Rachel made tonight, although sans actual Tagine:

Moroccan-Style Chicken Tagine with Tri-Color Couscous

gallery_2_4_173919.jpg

The couscous was purchased at Kalustyan's, a middle eastern grocery/spice purveyor in NYC.

beautiful! what did Rachel cook this in since it was non-tagine? and stovetop or oven?

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks, Jason... :biggrin:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am starting some preserved lemons this weekend following Paula Wolferts directions in Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco , so my first chicken with lemon and olive tagine is about a month away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heads up, those of you who have been lusting after Paula's tagra:  www.tagines.com now carries Rifi tagras* in 3 sizes and shapes!

(*What is the plural of tagra?  Tagaraan?)

I got one of these and think they will do fine for some things, but even the largest oval shaped one I got is only nine inches long (not counting the handles), so it's a bit short for many fish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope someone can help me out. I am not even sure exactly how to post on this site. In short I am not a cook or at least I have VERY little experience. I bought a tagine and am trying to prepare it to use. It is an unglazed tagine. Here are my questions:

1)To start I soak for a few hours, drain and dry and then rub with olive oil all over inside and out and then bake at 250 degrees for 10 hours... is that correct? Do I repeat this process and if so, how many times?

2)I want to use it on top of a gas stove. I have two diffuser. One is a 9" x 9" x 1/8" thick copper plate and the other one is an inexpensive round one that is made of some type of thin metal plates that have holes and are joined together with about and 1/4" air space between the two plates... which one would be best to use with my tagine which has a flat bottom?

3)Some recipes I have found talk about adding water. From some other articles I have read it seems that one should never add water to avoid cracking the tagine. Can I add water or liquid as long as it is not cold?

4)Does anyone have a simple recipe to start with that would basically require little more than dumping everything into the tagine and cooking it on the stove top? I would like something with lamb or chicken.

thank you in advance,

michael

mga440

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You came to the right place! However, you may get more help over on the Cooking Forum, where we've been discussing tagines a lot. I'll post a pointer in one of those threads to this thread, so some of the others are more likely to see it.

What type of tagine did you get? There are specific instructions about how to cure a Rifi tagine in this post, which is part of a very long and informative thread titled Moroccan Tagine Cooking (Admin: threads merged.). If you keep reading along in that thread, you'll find pointers to recipes, a lot of do's and don'ts, success stories, and information on some other types of tagines.

Here's a thread with some posts on tagine do's and don'ts, and curing

Now, for Questions and Answers:

(1) What you describe in the instructions sounds right, if that's what your tagine instructions say. As I understand it, you really only need to do the soak once, then the oil and bake once. You do need to add more oil after the baking, from what I understand. I'm not sure when you'll know to stop. Maybe you stop when the clay stops soaking up oil.

If you want to "age" your tagine, you can then start oiling with a mix of olive oil and wood ash and baking that. It will turn your tagine quite a bit darker and make it look like it's been in the family for several generations. However, that's strictly a cosmetic thing and it apparently works better on some types of tagine than others.

I'm hedging here, because I'm in the process of curing my (Rifi) tagine for its first use. Until now I've been cooking with an entirely different kind of clay that gets cured differently. I'd hate to give you bad advice because I misunderstood the curing instructions.

(2) Someone else will have to answer this one; I cook on electric coil. I use the second type of heat diffuser you describe. Someday I'm going to spring for a SimmerMat, but right now I'm just delighted to have the new tagine!

(3) You can add water. You should add water that's roughly the same temperature as the tagine...so, if the tagine is cold you can add cool water, but if the tagine is warm you should add warm water. I'm afraid to trying adding water to a HOT tagine.

You didn't ask but I'll tell you anyway: along the lines of not adding cold water to a hot tagine, or vice-versa, watch out for setting a hot tagine onto a cold counter or putting a cold tagine into a hot oven. The key is to make gradual temperature changes.

(4) I had great luck starting out with Paula Wolfert's Moroccan Lamb Tagine Smothered with Lemon and Olives. It may look scary to you if you're a new cook because it looks like a lot of ingredients, but really it goes together pretty easily. Another source of recipes is Sackville, who has a bunch on a separate web site. Three of the recipes are referenced in this post still farther down the tagine thread.

As I said, I'm still curing my own tagine so I'm afraid of giving you too much advice yet - but I'm sure the experts will chime in soon!

Enjoy, and welcome to eGullet!

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

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mga440, how's it going? Did you find all the answers to your questions?

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

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*bump*

Now that my own tagine is cured, I've put it into use. I have a couple of questions.

We established during the braising lab that cooking the meat, then cooling it, separating the juices, letting everything rest (preferably overnight) then putting it back together for the final braise would produce the best, most meltingly tender results. It also allowed for defatting the juices easily. I cooked up djej mqalli last night from Wolfert's Couscous and Other Good Food... and got good results, but not wonderful. I didn't stretch the process out over two days. The results were flavorful but not as tender as I've gotten in the past with a different clay pot, or with LC when I did stretch the process over 2 days.

What do the Moroccans do? My guess is that they have neither the time nor the luxury of cheap fuel to do this separating, resting and reheating business. Are the results as good anyway? How long does it take them to cook a chicken, make the sauce, boil it down, etc?

My other question pertains to chicken breasts. The recipe I used calls for cutting up the chicken into pieces, and (I presume) cooking them all. I reserved the entire back and the breast bones (only) for soup, and cooked everything else in the tagine. The breast meat was good, but a bit on the dry side. I don't think cooking it longer would have improved it. What should I have done differently there? Is there a way to do a creditable tagine using breast meat? I'd like to cook one of these for a friend who can only eat white meat, and I wonder whether it's a realistic plan.

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

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...