For serious home cooks, the holidays are the perfect excuse to spend a little extra at their favorite culinary shops and perhaps even throw a few extravagant items on our wish lists. One gift that may fall in the latter category is the voluptuous 2.6-quart, fig-hued Emile Henry Flame Top Tagine ($125).
A tagine is commonly used in Northern African cuisine as a standard casserole dish. It consists of two pieces: a plate-like bottom and a conical lid. The bottom doubles as a serving dish. The funky shape is designed for foods like chicken, which benefits from heat insulation and slow cooking. When combined with the steam from inside the tagine, foods come out far more tender than when they’re roasted, grilled or even braised. It’s a wonderful—and easy—way to enhance even the most basic dishes, and it’s gorgeous enough to serve as a focal point in your kitchen or dining room.
Emile Henry also offers a sleek pizza stone that’s more artsy and ergonomic than the typical beige squares many of us have stashed in our tray cabinets. It combines beauty and functionality at a reasonable price ($49.99). Both the stone and tagine are available at Kitchen Kapers in Paoli, Wayne and Ardmore.
Among the other great gift ideas for you or your favorite chef, you might want to consider an up-to-date, high-performance blender. The Vita-Mix 1002 Vita-Prep comes highly recommended by the pros, but anything by Vita-Mix will be an upgrade over that archaic thing you’ve probably had since college.
Kitchen Kapers offers at lease five different Vita-Mix models at various price points. Rest assured it’ll make you forget all about that clunky old food processor.