About Johanna

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Chicago/Aurora, IL, United States
I am just like so many busy moms out there. I want to create great meals for me and my family where the food brings us together at the end of a long and hectic day. I want to empower moms to feel like they are able to make Great Everyday Meals by using simple, accessible, and inexpensive ingredients and basic cooking techniques. It’s more about family and less about slaving away in the kitchen cooking. I have been a restaurant industry professional for about 10 years and have a great passion for cooking. I will share tips, recipes and techniques that I have learned to arm everyday cooks with the foundation to simple yet great tasting cooking! Johanna M. Cook

Friday, March 5, 2010

Shrimp & Asparagus in Lemon Garlic Sauce w/ Spinach & Feta Orzo



We all have hectic, fast-paced lives. Stay at home moms run around the house chasing after toddlers and grocery & cleaning lists, while working moms have to deal with co-workers and deadlines on top of that, to say the least. Working ladies are also busy artfully balancing their social, work and love lives. So, what about dinner? Yes, there's always the option of ordering take-out or going to a restaurant, but sometimes it's just not in the budget or schedule. If you have 15-25 minutes to spare, you can pull off a great gourmet meal for your friends and family for half the price.

Last night was one of those nights. My husband stayed home from work sick with a migraine and my parents were visiting from Chicago so my house was quite full and action packed. By the time my son came home from school and we had finished working on his project, it was 7pm. Usually, I would have had dinner already finished, but there was no such luck this day. In 20 minutes, with this recipe, I had dinner ready and the table set and all I heard at the dinner table was, "Hhhmmmmmmm!" and, "Yummmmmm!"

Shrimp & Asparagus in Lemon Garlic Sauce

1 lb of shell-off medium sized shrimp
1 lb of asparagus
5-6 gloves of finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup of chicken or shrimp stock
1 tsp dried oregano
4 TBL of extra virgin olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt








Spinach Orzo

1 bunch of baby spinach
1/2 lb of Orzo pasta
3 tbl or crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 TBL of extra virgin olive oil
salt

In a medium pot, boil and salt water. Cook the orzo pasta for 6-8 minutes or until al dente. Stir pasta frequently to avoid the small pasta from sticking together.

While the water is coming to a boil, in a large saute pan, heat the olive oil in medium to high heat. Saute the red onions and garlic until the red onions have become translucent. Add the dried oregano and red pepper flakes and saute for another 1 minute. Add chicken(or shrimp) stock and 1 lb of shrimp and cook until it has turned pink in color. Scrape the bottom of the pan to pick up all the flavor bits and pieces of red onion and garlic. If using already cooked shrimp, only heat the shrimp through being careful not to overcook the shrimp. Once the shrimp has turned bright pink in color, add the lemon juice and salt and carefully toss and serve.

Once the orzo pasta is al dente, immediately take the pasta out of the pan and place in a bowl, draining the water. While the pasta is still hot, take the cleaned baby spinach and toss the fresh, uncooked leaves in with the pasta. If baby spinach is not available, take regular spinach and cut into leaves into smaller pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, add the pinch of salt and toss in Feta cheese. Serve warm or room temperature.

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