Middle Eastern Menu help

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by noga, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. noga


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    I work at a cafeteria in a courtroom as a kitchen helper and cashier.the chief asked me to suggest  a middle eastern menu to serve at lunch on a themed day .and since i have a middle eastern background,he asked me to suggest a menu.I hope to get some suggestions.No deep fryer in kitchen and no stove .only convection oven , convection toaster ovens and induction cooktop.

    Any help is appreciated.
  2. michaelga


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    Retired Chef
    Assuming you actually know and eat Middle Eastern food, if not just politely bow out as it will be a disaster if you don't know what the food should look and taste like.

    Make a list of all the Middle Eastern foods you like, put down as many as you can, more is better.

    After each dish then list the technique required to cook it.  

    Go back over the list and put a single line through those that you couldn't do due to equipment constraints.

    Then go back over the list and put a single line through those that you wouldn't personally cook because they are too much of a PITA.


    You should have far fewer choices now.

    Pick four or five that would go together well but have some variation - ie. don't pick 5 curries, or 5 shish.

    Try and make sure that they don't all use the same cooking technique or you will be creating a 'bottle-neck' in the kitchen.

    Try to make sure that you have at least one veg dish, one carb heavy, two protein heavy and something served cold or hot depending on the weather.  ie. a soup or a salad... don't need both but sometimes that can work.

    If you provide more details you will get much more specific information.  

    ie. the number you serve per day; amount of prep time and budget constraints?   You serve only lunch I'm guessing?  Being a public place are you 'peanut' free?  Any limits on prep-ahead?  Do you have access to chafers or hot pots?   Do you have a mandate to provide x number of choices?  Limits on ingredient costs per plate?  What kind of skills does the chef and/or kitchen staff have?   Is this going to be in addition to the regular menu or is it replacing it for the day?  

    Honestly there are a hundred other questions that need to be answered before anyone can 'give' you a menu. 

    Especially Middle Eastern... that is a pretty big area.
  3. juju1205


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    Culinary Student
    Hi there,

    I have a middle eastern background myself, with mostly non-middle eastern friends/coworkers... I think playing it "safe" is a good bet so that it will be something suitable for various taste palates...I would suggest something like this:

    -Hummus with pita and raw veggies

    -Rice Pilaf

    -Chicken breast kabobs (taken off the skewers I'm assuming as safety, can be done in the oven) marinated in yogurt, salt pepper, touch of turmeric, garlic, & crushed mint

    -Maybe some grilled (you can roast in the oven since you don't have a grill) veggies like zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and onions with an olive oil, balsamic vin, garlic dressing

    Not sure how many dishes you need, but those seem like the most "generic", easy to make dishes that would suit various palates.

    Good luck! :)
  4. chicagoterry


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    Home Cook
    Middle Eastern food is all about the mezze!

    Tabouli, baba ganouj, hummus, muhammara, ful medames, labnah drizzled with olive oil, olives, feta cheese, can all be prepared ahead and chilled. Pick a couple or a few and serve with pita bread.

    If you still want a salad course, a carrot or orange and olive salad or garlic and lemon splashed tomatoes are easy and nice.

    Marinated chicken or lamb kebabs marinated in lemon/garlic/olive oil are a great idea, though best when grilled. Serve with rice.

    Rice pudding for dessert, with cardamom and orange flower water--can also be made ahead and chilled.