Lamb Tagine Confessions

Confession #1: Mike and I have a major weakness for cookware. For Mike, it’s gadgets. For me, it’s anything beautiful in which I can cook or serve food. The result? An obscene collection of Objets De Cuisine that we have purchased or received as gifts over the years. Since we hibernate in January in Minnesota, I thought it’d be a good time to do a Two Happy Cooks miniseries on some of our favorites, new and old.

First up? The Tagine.

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We received this pretty piece of Moroccan cookware as a 30th birthday present from Vicky, Howard and Madeline of Shop Chop and Roll, family friends from Kansas City. The word “Tagine” refers both to the object and the food cooked and served inside of it.  Given tonight’s low of -25 and windchill in the -40 range, I wanted to be transported somewhere fabulous by eating something warm and exotic. We chose this recipe for Lamb Tagine with Chickpeas and Apricots.

Confession #2: I sometimes forget to plan ahead, and failed to soak my chickpeas last night for this recipe. Luckily, the Shiksa in the Kitchen has a technique for doing the job in a snap: Bring your beans to a boil for 5 minutes and let them soak for an hour in the warm water. Genius.

Enter the 3rd and final confession: I actually cooked this in the dutch oven and put it in the tagine for serving. Only after buying my ingredients did I notice this recipe is made on the stove in a heavy bottomed pan and our tagine is made for the oven. Next time, I’ll try a baked tagine, but the bottom line is you don’t need a tagine to make tagine.

We really really liked this recipe. I think the secret is a Moroccan spice mixture called Ras El Hanout that I bought pre-mixed at the grocery store. It is a wonderful aromatic blend of cinnamon, cumin, peppers, turmeric and more. I also loved the cinnamon-soaked chickpeas and the sweet surprise of the chewy dried apricots.

Until We Eat Again,

Two Happy Cooks

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Chickpeas

Apricots

Final Dish

Close Up

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