Tuesday, October 12, 2010
For centuries, North Africa has had access to a myriad of wonderful spices to complement the region's diverse selection of seafood and meats. The traditional method of cooking in North Africa--the Tagine--has been used for centuries to slow cook with these spices. Precious little water is needed to keep foods moist, and the unique design of the Tagine lid locks in the combination of flavors. The base in this model, made of cast iron, works with any heat source: gas, electric radiant or solid plates, ceramic, halogen, induction, and Aga-Rayburn-type stoves. The tall, inverted cone shape keeps the top far from the heat source and from absorbing the heat, and thus stays cool to the touch. Le Creuset has also included many wonderful North African recipes for the Tagine, including soups, main dishes, salads, and desserts. Create a truly traditional North African feast with this amazing kitchen supplement.
A perfect example of age old technology providing superior performance for modern cooks, the tagine originated in Morocco. The shallow enameled dish has a tight fitting conical lid which helps moisture circulate throughout the piece so there is no need to open, stir, or turn the tagine during cooking. It is ideal for long slow simmering of rich and flavorful dishes.
Emile Henry's Flame Top tagine is available in a 2.6-quart size and a 3.7-quart size. The larger size is perfect for a dinner party or a big family.
According to the Le Creuset website, Le Creuset's tagine is currently available in a 1.75-quart size. A 2-quart model is also available from many Internet retailers. The Le Creuset sizing is similar to the 1.8- to 2-quart size of many traditional North African tagines.
Emile Henry's tagine is constructed of burgundy clay, which is suitable for use with any type of cooktop. According to Emile Henry's website, it is about 30 percent lighter than a cast-iron tagine and is available in figue (a dark purple-brown), azur, red and black. It is dishwasher-safe and can be used both in the oven and on the stove top. Emile Henry offers a three-year warranty for household use.
Le Creuset makes the base of its tagine out of enameled cast iron and the lid out of stoneware. The Le Creuset tagine carries a limited-lifetime warranty. It is easy to clean and can be washed in the dishwasher. You can use it on the stove top at high temperatures to braise or brown foods before lowering the heat and slow cooking them in the tagine. The Le Creuset tagine is available in kiwi, cherry red, cobalt blue, dijon and Caribbean.
Le Creuset's enameled cast-iron tagine is heavier, but it is also virtually indestructible and unlikely to crack or break. The Le Creuset tagine serves a maximum of four people with moderate appetites so it is perfect for smaller families or couples.
Emile Henry's tagine is less expensive than Le Creuset's, and the 2.6-quart size is generally perfect for a group of four to six while the larger size can serve as many as 10 people. Since it is a stoneware tagine, it is more similar to the traditional clay ones that have been used in North Africa for hundreds of years.
Lamb Tagine Recipe - Moroccan Chicken Tagine - Moroccan Fish Tagine
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