I discovered the pleasure of slow cooking recipes in the last year. Braising and other slow cooking techniques are great to host stress-free dinner parties.
Dishes that are equally delicious whether they cook longer or not are so practical for at home entertaining. Since the recipe does not require your presence at the stove, you can really enjoy a cocktail or two with your guests. Guests can be late without ruining your meal. Perfect!
I bought a large clay tagine at an annual art & craft show two Christmas ago. I bought a book or two on tagine recipes. And then it hit me, many tagine recipes called for cooking on a stovetop. But I cannot put mine on a stovetop, especially not on a gas stove. Still, I prepared wonderful recipes on the oven with my clay tagine, enough to want more.
My husband asked me a few weeks ago to cook more braises. So, I am looking to replace my clay tagine for one that can go directly on a gas flame. I do not want to be disappointed this time so I start looking for the best one.
After scouring the Net, my short list consists of Le Creuset. I was almost sold on Emile Henry because they made two sizes. I taught Le Creuset tagine (1.5 qt.) was too small to entertain larger groups. I read comments on the Web, some people complain about some spilling problems with Le Creuset. Everybody seems delighted with Emile Henry tagines. That settled my dilemma; I will go for the 2.6 qt (32 cm) Emile Henry Flame Top Tagine.
Emile Henry tagine is safe for microwave, broiler and dishwasher. Supporting up to 450 degrees, Emile Henry gives you 50 more degrees to play with than Le Creuset. On top of it, the large Emile Henry tagine costs the same as the smaller Le Creuset. I just need to go shopping now.
If you want to make you own mind, I recommend one post on Simply Recipes blog that has good comments on tagine. This is where I learn about heat diffuser. One top of it, you get a delicious recipe. Amazon.com product reviews were also helpful to me since they sell both brands.
Cooking.com sells several brands of tagine plus you get customer ratings and reviews. Emile Henry and All Clad are their best sellers. I love shopping at Cooking.com; this online store is an excellent source for cookware and nifty kitchen utensils. I did not pick All Clad because their tagine is more expansive and I find that it lacks the authentic tagine feeling.
If you have other views, do not hesitate to share with us your thoughts on tagines. What is the best one for you and why?
August 6th, 2007 Update:
You can read the results so far of my quest for the best Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and olives recipes.