Mediterranean Cooking

One of the nice things I like most about being a food writer is the access to so many good recipes. I have a number of sources, and the list keeps growing everyday.

One that is rapidly becoming a favorite is McCormick & Co., the spice people. Recently, a McCormick release centered on the Mediterranean Diet, which was introduced to the U.S. in the 1990s and since has attracted much attention.

It pointed out that the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, which was developed in 1993 by Oldways, a nonprofit food issues think tank, was updated to showcase the role of herbs and spices.

According to K. Dun Gifford, president of Oldways, updating the pryamid to emphasize herbs and spices was an easy choice, considering there is a growing body of research linking herbs and spices and their high levels of antioxidants with an array of promising health benefits.

But what I like most about the material sent by McCormick are the recipes, including the following one-pan supper that can be served simply with a fruit or vegetable salad.

Rosemary-Baked Chicken with Potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1½ teaspoons rosemary leaves, finely crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely round
½ teaspoon garlic powder
6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed (about 2 pounds)
1½ pounds small red potatoes, halved
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix oil, paprika, rosemary, sea salt, pepper and garlic powder in large bowl. Add chicken and potatoes; toss to coat well.
Arrange potatoes in single layer on foil-lined 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan sprayed with no stick cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes. Push potatoes to one side of pan. Place chicken on pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes longer or until the potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through, turning potatoes occasionally.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 264 calories, 12 grams fat, 20 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrates, 64 milligrams cholesterol, 334 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.