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Tagines is one of the popular North African dishes consumed mostly in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Also known as Tajine or mispronounced Tangines, this North African specialty has traveled all the way across the Atlantic to the kitchens in the US. Moroccan tagines are being served increasingly in specialty food or fast food restaurants all across the United States and has become quite popular.Tagines are not just the name of the food but also the pot in which they are c...

Tagines From Morocco Find Their Way To Us Dinner Tables And Kitchens

Tagines From Morocco Find Their Way To Us Dinner Tables And KitchensTagines is one of the popular North African dishes consumed mostly in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Also known as Tajine or mispronounced Tangines, this North African specialty has traveled all the way across the Atlantic to the kitchens in the US. Moroccan tagines are being served increasingly in specialty food or fast food restaurants all across the United States and has become quite popular.Tagines are not just the name of the food but also the pot in which they are cooked. Tagine pots are made purely from terra cotta and have a shallow rimmed base. The lid of the tagines is usually conical in shape. The bottom of the pot is always glazed from the inside and this is where it comes in direct contact with the stew or food. The top part of the Moroccan tagines is glazed from the outside, so that it can assist in evaporation of the steam. As a result, the stew or food gets absorbed into the clay and the juice or gravy becomes more concentrated in nature.There are always potters who try and make newer version of tagines especially the ones having glazed lids from the inside as well as outside. Each of the Moroccan tagines has a small steam outlet, and chefs preparing the dish more often than not poke a thyme sprig or a mint sprig. There are two types of tagines one that is made from terra cotta and one that has been made using enameled cast iron. The latter is not as effective as the terra cotta one.A visit to the Moroccan or Tunisian countryside will provide you glimpses of tagines simmering on small charcoal burners in street cafes or restaurants. In North Africa, tagines are never kept in the oven; it is always kept on the stove. I one of the coastal Moroccan cities especially in Meknes, you can find one of the most diverse tagine menu with as many as 20 dishes comprising of variety of vegetables, combined with meat, eggs, sausages, etc.The most popular and commonly eaten tagines is made using a whole chicken, with preserved lemons and olives. Sometimes the chicken is replaced by lamb, and it is combined with eggs and prunes. This preparation is quite similar to one of the tagine dishes served at the Andalous Moroccan Restaurant in Chicago. The restaurant is quite famous for its diverse offering of tagines and has around 11 varieties on the menu. They use mostly lamb, chicken, seafood and beef. Onions, preserved lemon, dry fruits, sesame seeds, nuts, eggs, peppers, tomatoes, and olives are added to the tagines apart from the usual seasonings that include cinnamon, paprika, cumin, saffron and cilantro among others. One major difference between North African or Moroccan tagines and American tagines is that the former use clarified butter called smen while in America; only olive oil is used for preparation.Some of the other restaurants that offer variety of tagines on their menu include L'Olive in Chicago, The Lite Touch in New York, and Oasis in Los Angeles and Mogador in New York. Perry's in Washington offers a unique tagine dish that comprises of lamb with medjool dates and pine nut couscous. Cafe Le Coq in Chicago is famous for their roasted vegetable tagines. Many restaurants offer a variety of lamb tagines including Shallots, Chicago, which is a kosher restaurant offering lamb tagine couscous with dry Mediterranean fruits.American chefs have in a way mastered the art of mixing tagines with couscous. If you visit, Morocco or Tunisia then you will find tagine being served as a separate dish and couscous is served as a separate steamed dish. Moroccan tagines as well as couscous are often served harissa, which is a chili-based condiment, and it is exclusive to Algerian and Tunisian tagines.Tagines have gone through different types of experimentation processes and restaurants like Zibibo in California offer an olive-marinated guinea hen with tomato tagine, mint, chickpea, and harissa. At the Marseille restaurant in New York, you will find duck tagine on the menu that comes with almonds, honey, and currants. Enrico's in San Francisco has completely changed the very essence of tagines by serving a sauce moistened with pan-roasted seafood, seasonal vegetables and saffron couscous. Having traveled across the Atlantic, Moroccan tagines look great on the menu but there are only a few who can serve authentic tagine. The best place to taste the spicy flavors of tagines is in Morocco or Tunisia but you can even visit some of the authentic Moroccan cuisine restaurants in Chicago or New York to get a feel of the real taste.

Wine History - When the cork met the bottle

Wine History - When the cork met the bottle

The role of the Church in the production and marketing of wine declined with the Reformation, particularly in northern Europe, but this did not convulse the wine world half as much as the discovery of the usefulness of corks about a century later. For the first time since the Roman empire, wine could now be stored and aged in bottles. Throughout the Middle Ages wine had been kept in casks which had presented a dual handicap: first, too long kept in wood could rob a wine of all its fruit; second, once the cask was opened the wine inevitably deteriorated unless drunk within a few days. The bottle, with its smaller capacity, solved the former problem by providing a neutral, non-porous material which allowed wine to age in a different subtler way and removed the latter problem by providing sealed containers of a manageable size for a single sessions drinking. However, the cork and bottle revolution was not an instant success; bottles were then so bulbous they would only stand upright which meant the corks eventually dried out and as a consequence let in air. But, by the mid 18th century, longer, flat-sided bottles were designed which would lie down, their corks kept moist by contact with the wine. As a result wine making now took on a new dimension. It became worthwhile for a winemaker to try and excel, wines from particular plots of land could be compared for their qualities, and the most exciting could be classified and separated from the more mundane plot wines. As a result todays great names of Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhine first began to be noticed. In the early 19th century, Europe seemed one massive vineyard. In Italy 80% of people were earning their living from wine and in France there were vast plantings rolling southwards from Paris. Also the vine had moved abroad thanks to explorers, colonists and missionaries. It went to Latin America with the Spaniards, South Africa with French Huguenots, and to Australia with the British. Could anything stop this tide of wine expansion? Well, yes and it came in the form of an aphid called phylloxera, that fed on and destroyed vine roots. It came from America in the 1860s, and by the early 20th century, had destroyed all Europes vineyards and most of the rest of the worlds as well. The solution was to graft the vulnerable European vine, vitis vinifera, onto the phylloxera-resistant American rootstock, vitis riparia, naturally a very expensive effort. The most immediate effect in Europe was that only the best sites were replanted and the total area under vines shrank drastically as a result. Elsewhere the havoc wrought was comparable and vineyard acreage is only now expanding to old original sites destroyed over a century ago. The 20th century brought further change as science and technology revolutionised viticulture and wine making. But despite the chemical formulae and computerised wineries, the grape retains its magic and allure that attracts wine enthusiasts from all over the world.

The Simplicity Of French Press Coffee

The Simplicity Of French Press Coffee

Although there are different methods for producing a great cup of coffee - from instant coffee to complex cappuccino machines - most people tend to make theirs with the simplicity of an electric coffee maker. But there are other methods accessible to you that can make a great cup of coffee, such as French press coffee. If you havent seen one in use, then youre missing out on a simple way to produce a rich cup of coffee. The PotThe main hardware for French press coffee is the plunger pot, and its basically all you need in order to make coffee with this method. It consists of a small jug with a sort of plunging mechanism on top. This plunger has a sort of mesh on it which is used to filter out the coffee grounds. In order to make French press coffee, you add water directly to the grounds in your plunger pot and let it steep for a few minutes. You then push down on the plunger to filter out the grounds from the liquid. The making of French press coffee is no more difficult than that, easy enough for anyone to operate.The CoffeeWhen you grind your beans for French press coffee, you want to shoot for a coarse grind, since larger pieces will get filtered out better by the mesh of the plunger. French press coffee will produce a stronger brew than youll get with a coffee machine, which is great if you like a coffee with a lot of flavor. Keep in mind that with this method, there will be some small particles in the coffee after pouring. This is normal, and it doesnt mean that youre doing something wrong. One thing to know about French press coffee is that it should be served right away, since the water and grounds are still in contact. If you wait too long, the mix will become unpleasantly acidic. So dont make French press coffee and expect it to be good for a second cup in an hour. For this reason, most plunger pots are small in size.ConvenienceFrench press coffee is remarkably easy to make and low-tech, since you can make it without electricity. For this reason, its great on camping trips, since the plunger pot fits easily in a backpack and can be used outdoors. Similarly, for those traveling without guarantee of a coffee machine at their destination, a French press coffee jug can fit easily in your travel bag and ensures you can have a cup wherever you go. With the convenience, ease of use, and flavor that French press coffee making provides, it is sure to be a hit with you and your family.

Use Your Coffee Machine To Make Your Next Meal

Use Your Coffee Machine To Make Your Next Meal

If you love your coffee, you will love dishes made from coffee. There are many dishes that use the wonderful taste of coffee as their main component. Let your coffee maker help you prepare your meals.Most people think of using coffee to make desserts-and there are great recipes for that-but coffee adds a distinctive flavor to many other dishes as well. You can make barbecue sauces and glazes for meats, and put coffee in chili and pot roast recipes, to name a few.Just as you use other fresh ingredients in your recipes, you should be sure the coffee you use is fresh. Either buy freshly ground coffee or grind your own, with your coffee grinding machine. If the recipe calls for brewed coffee, brew it just before you use it; don't use your leftover coffee for this. Most of the recipes using coffee use coffee that is 2-3 times stronger than drinking coffee, since the flavor is going to be blended. So here are a few of the wonderful recipes using coffee:Coffee Meatloaf Sauce: Add a tablespoon of instant coffee to a blend of the following ingredients: a quarter cup of water, a half a cup of ketchup, a quarter cup of dry red wine, a quarter cup of Worcestershire sauce, two teaspoons of vinegar, an ounce of margarine, two tablespoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Cook your favorite meatloaf recipe, but after about 1/2 hour of cooking, pour this sauce over it and continue baking for 45 minutes more at 375 degrees (190C) for tender, delicious meatloaf.Espresso Brownies: Gently heat a cup of sugar, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and a stick and a half of butter in a sauce pan; add a teaspoon of vanilla, four ounces of chopped, semi-sweet chocolate and stir until melted in. Add a tablespoon of dark roast coffee. If you would like to add a crunch, add two teaspoons of espresso granules. Mix everything together and let cool, fold in three eggs and a cup of flour. Pour into a rectangular baking pan, bake for 30 minutes and set out to cool. Perfect brownies every time!Black Russian Cake: Make dark chocolate cake mix, your own or from a box, and add a cup of vegetable oil, a package of instant chocolate pudding, four eggs, and a half a cup of creme de cacao. To this mix, add a cup of Russian coffee. (A cup of black coffee with an ounce of vodka and an 1/2 ounce of Kahlua added.) Beat well and put into a tube pan and bake for 45 minutes. Your guests will love this switch from Black Forest Cake.You can even enjoy great cocktails using coffee; Kahlua is only one of many. If you want to be able to add coffee to just about everything you like, try making your own coffee syrup. There's even a recipe for coffee syrup. Combine a cup of sugar with a cup of double strength Colombian coffee. Boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolved. Lower heat, simmer and stir for three minutes, then cool. You can put this flavoring into almost any of your favorite dishes and add the special touch of coffee.

Cooking Ranges

Cooking ranges are one of the basic kitchen appliances that every home needs. Some cooking ranges run on gas, while others run on electric ranges and few operate in combination of both. Cooking ranges are most convenient and energy efficient compared to traditional gas stoves.Electric cooking ranges are very popular due to various reasons. The cost of electric cooking ranges is very low compared to gas and dual power cooking ranges. As electricity is freely available every where, people prefer these types of ranges for their kitchens. In electric cooking ranges coils are fixed above the surface of the range top in an elevated position accommodating all types of cookware.Some electric cooking ranges come with deep porcelain drip pans that help in retaining the fresh appearance of the food for a longer period. Advanced electric range models use radiant elements as burners instead of traditional coil burners. As radiant elements are good heat conductors they help in cooking food very fast. This type of cooking ranges cost higher than the standard models.Gas based cooking ranges are more eco friendly than the electric cooking ranges. In gas based cooking ranges flames can be adjusted to provide variable heating to cook different types of dishes. While buying a gas based cooking range one has to choose a model with electric ignition to light up the burner. Gas cooking ranges are expensive than their electric counter parts.Apart from these basic categories there are other varieties of cooking ranges based on their configuration such as Open top burners, Solid Tops, Boiling tables, Island suits, Modular Islands, and One piece islands. Open top burners operate in both, gas or electricity, and with an oven below them. These types of cooking ranges are fuel efficient as the cooking pans are directly heated by the burners resulting in quick heating-up. While buying this type of cooking ranges at least one burner should be bigger in order to place large cooking pans.Solid Tops have a hard cast iron range top heated by either gas burners or radiant elements. The main benefit is it can house more pans in comparison to open burner ranges. Boiling table ranges are identical to standard cooking ranges. Island suites and Modular island suites are facilitated with cooking units and have various processes like grills, griddles, ovens, fryers, etc.Cooking ranges burn with excellent competence. To maintain its excellence the cooking range burners ought to be kept clean free of any food wastage.

Chocolate Fondue Is A Party Favorite

Chocolate fondue that was a rage in the 1970's is on a role again. Back then there was probably not even a single party that didn't have them - actually it was unthinkable to have a party without them. Chocolate is something that appeals to both young and old the world over, and chocolate fondue are a favorite among all.With time everything changes and chocolate fondue is no exception? At today's parties, chocolate fondue is served and presented differently and there are various ways in which it is done. White chocolate is getting more attention, and the white chocolate fondue is becoming more popular at get togethers and parties.The Popularity Of White Chocolate FondueHaving a party and wish to impress all who attend? Need something that is simple to prepare with a sophisticated flare? Then what you need is white chocolate fondue. You will need twenty four ounces of white chocolate, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and two ounces of cherry liqueur. Melt it all in a double boiler or fondue pot, add fruit such as fresh strawberries or pineapple for dipping. My family loves to dip marshmallows.You can also spice up your chocolate for variety with a fruit or a mint flavor. These are wonderful for dipping shortbread cookies, pretzels, and a number of other finger foods along with your favorite fruit. Try bananas, apples and orange sections too. Use your imagination, anything goes.How To Display "Chocolate Fondue" At A PartyMany people serve the chocolate in fondue pots. But another idea that is really catching on is a fondue fountain - this is always impressive. The chocolate fountain will become the focal point of the event as your guests gather around to dip.The chocolate fondue fountain doesn't have to be limited to special parties, treat your family on a rainy night. Relax, talk, play a board game and enjoy your time together.

Summary

Tagines is one of the popular North African dishes consumed mostly in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Also known as Tajine or mispronounced Tangines, this North African specialty has traveled all the way across the Atlantic to the kitchens in the US. Moroccan tagines are being served increasingly in specialty food or fast food restaurants all across the United States and has become quite popular.Tagines are not just the name of the food but also the pot in which they are c...