Tagine or Tajine
I am an admitted cookware addict...and I am going to give in to my craving for a tajine. I have seen one I like by Emile Henry...but I am looking for a great price. I think that there are some Emile Henry outlets out there somewhere...but where? Of course I like the Le crueset one too...but the Emile Henry Flame design is really pretty. Does anybody have experience with either of these tagines...or others? Any input is welcomed...thanks ...this is my first post here~!! Thanks
I received the Le Crueset one as a gift - I make a lot of stews and such but it is just not practical - the cooking area is that of a medium sized frying pan - it is fine if you are cooking for 2 persons but any more than that you really need a larger piece of cookware - they look great but just not practical for cooking - perhaps for serving it would be fine.
I also have the LC one. I really like the way it works, but Howchow is right in that it's not very big, although the Emile Henry's that I have seen do not seem to be any bigger really. Really I just like to collect LC in all the bright colors, so it's not a showstopper for me.
The LC base is garden-variety enameled cast iron which can be used on the stovetop. Not all of the EH tagines can be used on the stovetop, so be sure to double-check if that's a concern.
Before you abandon the idea of a buying a tagine, you may wish to learn more on my non-commercial Web site, were I describe the tagine as a great Dutch oven for two and provide a few Western recipes to show what can be cooked with it. And yes if you get one, buy the LC with the cast iron base, which at seven pounds is neither garden variety nor enamaled. Al Clad has a cast iron one too, I believe. Have a look at geezergourmet.com.
I also have the LC model and I actually love it. It isn't huge, but I find its plenty large enough to do a chicken tagine for 4 (especially once you consider the other sides that will be served with it). I can get 6-8 chicken thighs in it without a problem...one of the things to keep in mind about it is that you can stack the food a bit because the nature of the tagine means that nothing is going to dry out while its cooking. I make chicken for my enchiladas in it, too and nothing can beat the tagine for getting really moist flavorful chicken with a minimum amount of effort for such a dish in my mind.
The base for the LC is also dishwasher safe because its entirely enamled. The top has an unglazed section around its base, so you have to be gentle with that and make sure it dries thoroughly after you use it and wash it.
The tagine won't be an every day cooking vessel for you, but I'm a fan.
Hope this isn't off your topic, but in Morroco people don't actually use the tagine to make a tagine anymore. They use a pressure cooker and then use the tagine as a server. So, by one for the looks, cook your tagine seperately, then serve it in your beautiful ceramic tagine.
I had a Le Creuset and gave it away after I discovered how much better cooking in clay tagines are. I have two; the Rifi from tagines.com and an Emil Henry. The Emil Henry has a much larger cooking area than the Le Creuset and I have been able to prepare tagines for six people in that one. Of the two, I prefer the Rifi from tagines.com just because the unglazed clay makes for better food.
Also keep in mind that there are clay cooking tagines and clay serving tagines. The serving tagines are highly decorative and not functional for cooking. Also, the Rifi is only $34 - a lot less than either the Emil Henry or the Le Creuset or Staub.
Here's a link: http://www.tagines.com/pd_rifi.cfm
I got an EH tagine a couple months back. It's beautiful and works marvelously. One concern you might consider is shipping it. The first one I ordered wasn't packed very well and arrived in many pieces. It was rather sad. The second one I got was actually drop shipped from EH directly. They had poured foam all over the pieces so they wouldn't break during the shipping process.
I'd highly recommend it.
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