You've been seduced by the aromatic scents and succulent flavours emanating from the iconic Moroccan tagine and even bought one home to remind you of your holiday. But before you get stuck into cooking, caring for this pointy unglazed earthenware pot requires some special TLC to maximise it's potential!
Tagine come in many shapes and sizes, from unglazed to decorative, from individual to family sized. They are also the gift that keeps on giving - after frequent use they give the food highly prized an earthy taste.
Cooking with your new tagine for the first time takes some simple preparation to ensure you have many happy cooking years ahead, plus some simple cleaning and cooking tips.
Here are the basics to looking after your prized new Moroccan Tagine:
HOW TO CURE AND SEASON A TAGINE
1. Soak the lid and the base in water for at least two hours or up to 6 hours.
2. Remove the tagine from the water and dry it, then let it air dry for about an hour. If the cookware is unglazed, rub the interior and exterior of the lid and base with olive oil.
3. Place the tagine in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to aprox 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 C), and let it bake for two hours. After two hours, turn off the oven, and leave the tagine to cool down completely inside the oven.
4. Wash and store the cooled tagine (instructions below) or get to work on your first tagine recipe!
HOW TO WASH A TAGINE AFTER USE
1. Wash your unglazed terra-cotta tagine by hand with very mild soapy warm water, baking soda or vinegar, and rinse well.
2. Leave the tagine to dry thoroughly, and then lightly coat the interior of the lid and base with olive oil before storing.
3. Store your tagine with the lid slightly ajar so that air can circulate and help prevent mold or dampness.
Glazed tagines can usually be washed in the dishwasher but be sure to check the instructions beforehand.
HOW TO COOK WITH A TAGINE
Traditional, unglazed terra-cotta tagines can be heated over a diffused gas flame on a low to medium low heat while glazed tagines can be heated in the oven. Traditionally tagine are also cooked over charcoal.
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