Tagines Are a Colorful Holiday Gift


Tagines

Just Google the word Tagine and your browser will instantly be filled with images of the most beautiful stoneware pieces. Colorful and elegant, these dome-shaped stoneware crocks are a kitchen standard in Moroccan homes where savory stews are slowly simmered for hours. If you are looking for a colorful holiday gift, consider giving a friend (or yourself) one of these exotic beauties along with a unique recipe.

Tagines allow for slow cooking of food giving a depth of flavor that is unique. The dome shaped lid allows steam to rise, condense, and trickle back down to the stew, keeping your food from drying out or burning. Dishes that benefit from braising include lamb and certain cuts of beef. Try this chicken tagine recipe that incorporates root vegetables, dried fruits, chicken, and delicious, aromatic spices in a wonderful one-pot dish. A vegetarian tagine gives a new twist to a Meatless Monday menu with chickpeas, butternut squash, cauliflower and standard North African spices like cinnamon, cumin, and ginger. Serve it over couscous for an authentic, filling, North African meal.

The benefit of adopting traditional ethnic cooking methods and recipes is the use of fresh, whole foods. Ethnic cuisines have managed to stay true to their whole food roots and rarely incorporate many of the processed foods that are so prevalent in American diets today. The nature of the tagine also allows for foods to be cooked via steaming and boiling, rather than frying, which eliminates the need for a lot of added fat. Just a little olive oil with its heart-healthy fats to get started, and from there, the tagine takes over producing a delectable, slowly simmered, one-pot, whole food dinner.

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