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Sep 30, 2011 10:13 AM

Looking for assistance with specialized weekly menu planning

I’ve decided to try something different for the month of October and maybe even November. I would like to try eating one cuisine from around the world for a whole week. I would like to start with either Italian or Chinese, then Mexican (which I could eat 24/7/365), maybe something from Latin America, Mediterranean, or …

What I would like are some suggestions for other peoples favourites from different cultures/cuisines. I have tons of cookbooks, but reading a recipe and it actually being something worth making can be two different things (as I’m sure most of you know). While I am a picky eater (I’m trying to be more adventurous) my hubby (the human garbage disposal) will eat anything and usually not complain.

So, I have everything you would pretty much need to make average to moderately complicated dishes. I have enough kitchenware to make do if something calls for a pan or dish that I may not have an exact match for. While I wouldn’t mind a complicated recipe or two (something that takes several hours would only be good for a Sunday) I’m looking for cultural favourites that would be new to me (is this asking for two much?? I am a very competent cook, however, have not been too adventurous in the past with recipes from other cultures – I have seriously gotten into Mexican cuisine lately but that only extends to things like soups, tacos, rices, a few sauces, etc.). I do not need recipes for Lasagne or Bolognese sauce – but different pasta dishes are welcome.

I’m doing this because I have started a new job with different hours so I have a little more time than before, it’s a bit of a stressful job so the planning/prepping/cooking, etc. will relax me, and I need to broaden my horizons for awhile I think. Any suggestions appreciated – recipes, links, etc. I really need inspiration if I’m going to come up with 6 dinners a week – especially in the ones I am unfamiliar with. Again, it doesn't have to be fancy, complicated stuff, comfort food more than welcome, and thanks!

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  1. there is another member of CH who does something similar but longer than a week..
    and she has a blog about it..

    2 Replies
    1. re: srsone

      Uh oh something went wrong there:

      "It's either been moved, removed, or it never existed.
      We apologize for the inconvenience.
      To find the information you're looking for, please try searching:"

      That's the message I got, hopefully you can point me in the right direction (or to the right person). I want to have my menu for next week set by Sunday so I can do my weekly shopping trip prepared!

      1. re: nsstampqueen

        its chowhound....the html stuff is all whacked out since the update...

        try just searching for the name of it with google...

    2. if you like curry, i'd highly recommend checking out Iyer's 660 Curries...
      my ideas for various cuisines...
      Chinese -- egg rolls, bao, kung pao shrimp/scallops, spring rolls, chicken lo mein, beef with broccoli...
      Italian -- gnocchi, cacciatore, risotto, arancini, cioppino, caponata, panzanella, straciatella, polenta, manicotti, roman salt cod stew, frittata
      Mexican - tamales, albondigas, fish veracruz, chilaquiles, enchiladas (from scratch sauce is the best), fish tacos, quesadilla variations...
      Mediterranean - what does this mean to you exactly?

      other ideas... breakfasts from around the world... for dinner, thai, spanish, swiss, german, polish, russian...

      sounds like fun!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Emme

        Mediterranean involves something like 20 different and diverse national cuisines. Almost impossible to generalise.

      2. We eat pasta at least three nights a week. Right now, one involves fresh cherry tomatoes sauteed with garlic and herbs, a second is bitter greens--rabe/dandelion/arugula--sauteed with garlic and either proscuitto/pancetta/sausage, and a quick cream/parmigiano sauce with peas. But then you can also brown slices of zucchini and toss them with arugula and pasta or penne with tomato sauce with chopped olives, capers, garlic and herbs. The oil for every dish is olive and the grating cheese either Romano or Parmigiano depending upon what suits you. I could do variations on these for a month solid and be totally happy.

        1. Thanks for all the suggestions! This week is going to be Chinese - just cause I like the healthier aspect of it - lots of veggies!

          Menu so far:

          Sunday - Mu Shu Pork
          Monday - Beef and Snow Peas with Panfried Noodles
          Tuesday - Chicken Wonton Soup (have to do this ahead as Tuesday is meeting night)
          Wednesday - Dim Sum Style - shrimp in green pepper with black bean sauce, pan fried sticky rice, and pork dumplings
          Thursday and Friday TBD yet - suggestions for something different or unusual (no weird foods please - I'm not that adventurous yet). I do have a recipe for Shrimp Pancakes that looks wonderful but makes me nervous - it really is pancakes with shrimp in them with a dark, thick sauce to pour over top, I'm not sure how that would work out but might try it.