Taking time to slowly cook food


December 26, 2007|By Matthew Dolan | Matthew Dolan,Sun reporter

Tagine: Spicy Stews From Morocco

By Ghillie Basan

Braises and Stews: Everyday Slow-Cooked Recipes

By Tori Ritchie

Chronicle Books / 2007 / $22.95

Funny that the host of CBS' Five-Minute Cooking School pens a book about cooking over the long haul.

In her Braises and Stews book, the San Francisco-based food writer surveys a broad culinary landscape, from the French White Coq au Vin to Portuguese Clam- and-Sausage Stew to Thai Fish-and-Corn Curry.

One tempting dish includes Tori Ritchie's recipe for Sicilian Swordfish Stew, and it hardly required a long stint over a hot stove. I would only nitpick with Ritchie over the number of olives she lists in the recipes. The pungency of pitted green olives could have been more judiciously showcased with a smaller amount.

Ritchie was right to recommend using rosemary rather than the traditional sultanas, or golden raisins, to give the dish a sweet-sour contrast.

Her collection offers exactly what we all need at this time of year - a good respite to enjoy rich, slowly cooked flavors.


Lamb Tagine With Dates, Almonds and Pistachios

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil plus a pat of butter)

2 onions, finely chopped

1 to 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 1/4 pounds lean lamb, from the shoulder, neck or leg, cut into bite-sized pieces

8 ounces moist, ready-to-eat, pitted dates

1 tablespoon dark honey

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

pat of butter

2 to 3 tablespoons blanched almonds

2 tablespoons shelled pistachios

a small bunch of fresh, flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Heat the ghee in a tagine or heavy-based casserole dish. Stir in the onions and saute until golden brown. Stir in the turmeric, ginger and cinnamon. Toss in the meat, making sure it is coated with the spice mixture. Pour in enough water to almost cover the meat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for roughly 1 1/2 hours.

Add the dates and stir in the honey. Cover with a lid again and simmer for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and lots of pepper.

Heat olive oil with butter in a pan. Stir in the almonds and pistachios and cook until they begin to turn golden brown. Scatter the nuts over the lamb and dates and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with buttery couscous.

Adapted from "Tagine"

Per serving (based on 6 servings): 469 calories, 35 grams protein, 20 grams fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 41 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 116 milligrams cholesterol, 103 milligrams sodium

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.