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Menu Planning Week 29

Reveling in the culinary possibilities presented by my new spices, I have thrown caution to the wind and planned an exotic and ethnically diverse week. We will be all over the globe, including stops in Italy, India, Morocco and Hungary and I will be opening most of my little bags and packets, taking deep breaths as the ingredients hit the pan, and shaking the dust (or, more accurately, snow) of a Michigan winter out of my brain.

The usual rules apply: I buy what’s on sale, what’s fresh and local (not much at the moment), and try to make no more than two red meat meals and to include at least one vegetarian entree. Here’s what we’re eating on Forest Street this week:


Chicken Curry, Rice, Boys 

This curry recipe came from here and while I haven’t actually made the recipe yet (I couldn’t since I had no galangal until Tuesday) this is a highly reliable source and I’m pretty darned sure this will be wonderful. We’ll have this over Basmati or Jasmati rice, with mango chutney, cashews, bananas and raisins as “boys.” If I am feeling truly magnanimous (and hungry) we may also have poppadums.


Pork Paprikas, Buttered Caraway Noodles and Sauteed Apples

Pork tenderloins are on sale this week, and I have spanking new paprika (sweet and hot!) dying to be whipped into something Hungarian and fabulous.



We are not going out (and frankly, my dear Scarlett…) but we do plan to eat festive dinner. The issue is what is festive. We can buy steaks and grill them, serve them with mounds of herb butter, creamed spinach and wedges of iceberg lettuce with bleu cheese dressing, or we can have giant burgers with bacon, avocado and jalapenos. And cheese. We could really have anything we want. We just don’t know what. What do you eat on New Year’s Eve?


Pan-Fried Chicken Breasts, Harissa, Cous Cous and Carrots with Prunes

This is a vaguely Moroccan spread; the Harissa paste is part of my new stash, and is a spicy, complex accompaniment to plain-ish meat; the cous cous is Moroccan and the carrots and prunes I’ll attempt to bring into line with the rest of the meal with a little orange juice and honey.


Corn & Cheese Casserole and Citrus Salad

This is our vegetarian meal, and a small breather in the midst of Mondo Spice Week. The recipe is from New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant which I stole from my mother on Christmas. Ho ho ho.


Rosemary Pork Chops, Scallion Risotto and Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette


Indian Butter Chicken, Rice and Fruit 

 This is basically another curry, so that I can use some of my Garam Masala. Before you accuse me of all manner of crimes against menu planning, read what Wikipedia has to say about:

Curry addiction

A number of studies have claimed that the reaction of pain receptors to the hotter ingredients in curries, even Korma, leads to the body’s release of endorphins and combined with the complex sensory reaction to the variety of spices and flavours, a natural high is achieved that causes subsequent cravings, often followed by a desire to move on to hotter curries. Some refer to this as addiction, but other researchers contest the use of the word “addiction” in this instance.[1] Additionally, curry addiction is an example of a colloquial use of the word “addiction” as the medical definition of the word requires continued use despite harmful effects. And since medicine has not shown any harmful effects of curry consumption, the use of the word “addiction” is highly contestable.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

3 responses »

  1. you had me at buttered caraway noodles…

  2. claudia, its your Hungarian soul…

  3. you know… you’re right!


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