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Posted: January 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Roasted Lemon-Garlic Chicken

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Ripe vegetables, fresh herbs and fragrant spices all lend vibrant, bold flavors to mouthwatering meals that are worth lingering over with friends.
This is what Mediterranean cooking is all about.
Add some Mediterranean inspiration to your everyday meals with these recipes using Crisco® olive oils to help you turn an ordinary meal into a memorable one.
Use extra virgin olive oil to add a full-bodied flavor to salads, vegetables and meats.
Pure olive oil offers a mild, subtle olive flavor with a hint of fruit to sautés and stir-fries.
Light tasting olive oil is ideal as an all-purpose cooking oil that can be used for sautéing, roasting vegetables or in baked goods like muffins, cakes and brownies.

Roasted Lemon-Garlic Chicken
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Chicken:
        Crisco® Olive Oil No-Stick Cooking Spray
    1     tablespoon Crisco® Pure Olive Oil or Crisco® Light Tasting Olive Oil
    1/2     teaspoon oregano
    1     teaspoon minced garlic
    1     (4 to 5 pound) whole chicken, rinsed with neck and giblets removed
        Salt and pepper
Gravy:
    1/2     cup cold water
    1/4     cup milk
    1     (0.87 to 1.2 ounces) package chicken gravy mix
    1/2     teaspoon oregano
    1     teaspoon minced garlic
    1 1/2     teaspoons fresh lemon juice


1.    Heat oven to 400°F. Spray a shallow roasting pan with rack with no-stick cooking spray.
2.    Mix oil, oregano and garlic. Brush mixture over entire chicken. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Place in  prepared pan, breast side down; let stand 30 minutes. Turn chicken breast side up.
3.    Roast 65 to 70 minutes, basting occasionally. Chicken is done when meat thermometer registers 170°F or when juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pricked.
4. Transfer chicken to carving board; tent with aluminum foil. Allow to rest 10 minutes.
5.    Skim grease from the pan drippings. Place 1/4 cup skimmed pan drippings into small saucepan. Add water, milk, gravy mix, oregano, garlic and lemon juice to pan. Cook, stirring constantly until gravy thickens.
6.    Carve chicken. Place on serving platter. Serve with warm lemon-garlic gravy.

Mediterranean linguine
with basil and tomatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
    1     1-pound box linguine pasta
    1     tablespoon salt, or to taste
    1/2     cup Crisco® 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    2     pints grape tomatoes (4 cups), cut in  half
    1     tablespoon minced garlic
    2     tablespoons red wine vinegar
    1     teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
        Salt and pepper to taste
    18     to 20 basil leaves, cut in thin strips
    3/4     cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus
        additional for garnish

1.    Heat 6 quarts water to boiling. Add pasta and salt. Cook for the minimum recommended time on package directions. While pasta cooks, prepare sauce.
2.    Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add tomatoes and garlic. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.
3. Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar and pepper flakes.
4.    Drain cooked pasta. Add to skillet. Cook and stir 1 minute or until pasta is coated and hot. Remove from heat.
5. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in basil and cheese.
6. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.

Lavender Olive Oil cake
with honeyed ricotta

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
    Pillsbury® Baking Spray with Flour
    1 3/4     cups Pillsbury­ BEST® All Purpose Flour
    1 1/2     teaspoons baking powder
    1/2     teaspoon kosher salt
    1     cup sugar
    1     tbsp finely grated orange peel
    1     tablespoon culinary lavender, crushed,
        plus additional 1 to 2 tpsp
        for garnish
    1/4     teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2/3     cup plain yogurt
    3     large eggs
    2/3     cup Crisco® Pure Olive Oil
    1     teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4     cup heavy cream
    3     tablespoons honey
    3/4     cup ricotta cheese, at room
        temperature

1.    Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan generously with baking spray; set aside.
2.    Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together sugar, orange peel, lavender and pepper in a large mixing bowl until evenly distributed. Add yogurt, eggs and olive oil; continue whisking until smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture and gently whisk in until just combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
3.    Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.
4.    Whip cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add honey and continue to whip until stiff. Add ricotta cheese, a dollop at a time, and beat until fluffy. Slice cake. Top slices with honeyed ricotta and sprinkle with lavender.

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