Getting into a stew — or tagine — could prove to a very tasty idea on Labor Day. But, if you are a little confused about what a tagine is, don’t feel alone — the word actually has two meanings.
First, “tagine” is the name given to those fabulously spicy aromatic stews coming from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. And, secondly, it’s also the word for describing the traditional knob-handled ceramic vessel the stew is cooked in.
I explored tagines and the intoxicating pleasures of North African cuisine late in life, but since discovering Ghillie Ba’an’s superlative “Tagine: Spicy Stews from Morroco,” in 2007, I like to think I’ve made up for lost time. So, apparently, have a lot of other folks, as I seem to come across recipes for tagines with a great deal of regularlity. Even Paul Hartley’s delightful “The Heinz Tomato Ketchup,” with it’s interesting Heinz ketchup history and 40 ketchup-inspired recipes, offers a recipe for Moroccan Fish Tagine, a tasty dish made with snapper, olives and preserved lemons.
In case you haven’t yet tried the provocative, piquant flavors of North African cuisine, making a tagine for upcoming Labor Day celebrations might be a good way to get started. Tagines are not hard to make, not overly expensive to prepare and will showcase, beautifully, the fruits of your Labor Day labors.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.