Couples Cooking Class II: Arepas with Poblano Crema, Grilled Shrimp, Mixed Greens, Herb-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, and Rhubarb Berry Crisp

Arepas with Avocado, Roasted Corn, Cilantro and Poblano Crema

  •  2 cups arepa flour (precooked cornmeal)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ cup shredded Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ears of corn, cooked, cut off the cob
  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 bunch clinatro, chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream or crème fraiche
  • 1 roasted poblano pepper, skinned and peeled
  • salt to taste
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

Combine arepa flour and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add 2 1/2 cups warm water. Using a wooden spoon, gradually incorporate dry ingredients, stirring until no dry lumps remain. Let rest 5 minutes to hydrate.

Knead dough a few times in bowl, then divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece on work surface into a ball, then gently flatten to about 1/2″ thick.

Heat 1 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 arepas, cover, and cook until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Uncover, flip, and cook (keep uncovered) until other side is golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Transfer arepas to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoons oil and dough.

For crema, mix sour cream/crème fraiche in food processor. Add chopped poblano pepper. Add chopped avocado, corn, salt to taste, and a bit of cilantro. Serve this mixture over the arepas.

Mixed Greens with Almonds, Tomatos, Garbanzos and Manchego

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 4-5 tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 8 oz marcona almonds
  • 8 oz manchego cheese, grated or sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans, soaked overnight in water
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil


  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • honey, to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix garbanzos, garlic, and a little bit of olive oil together. Combine the dressing ingredients in a food processor or jar with a lid and combine very well. Mix all salad ingredients together, top with garbanzos, and serve with dressing.

Herb-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

  • 1 pound fingerling potato
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • Grape seed oil

Coat potatoes in grape seed oil season with salt and pepper. Place on sheet tray with herbs on top bake, and at 400 until crispy and tender when pricked with skewer.

Grilled Shrimp 

  • 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red
  • wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • De-veined shrimp and skewers

Blend all ingredients for marinade in blender or food processor
Prepare shrimp and pour vinaigrette over and marinate for one hour. Skewer shrimp and place on hot grill until grill marks and no longer translucent but a light pink color.

Rhubarb and Berry Crisp

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 pound strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pounds fresh or frozen rhubarb crumble
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the rhubarb stalks into 1-inch pieces. Set aside. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and cut in the butter with two knives until the mixture is crumbly. Add pecans, then toss with a fork. Set aside. Mix berries rhubarb sugar, ginger, orange juice, zest and cornstarch layer in pie tin and sprinkle crumble on top bake at 350 degrees until fruit bubbles.



Side: Ricotta Gnocchi

1 cups whole-milk ricotta (1 pound)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 ounces), divided
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 stick unsalted butter

Stir together ricotta, eggs, 1 cup cheese, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add flour, stirring to form a soft, wet dough. Shape dough on a well-floured surface with lightly floured hands into 2 (1-inch-thick) ropes. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces with a lightly floured knife. Put in 1 layer on a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook gnocchi in 2 batches in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water), adding a few at a time to pot and stirring occasionally, until cooked through (cut one in half to check), 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain in colander. Meanwhile, brown 4 ounces unsalted butter in saucepan. Sauté Gnocchi with 2 Tablespoons Brown butter season and serve.

Salad: Radicchio, Baby Spinach, Pistachio and Orange Salad

Add radicchio, baby spinach, pistachios, and orange segments to bowl. Dress with the following:

Orange Vinaigrette
2 oranges, zested
2 small oranges, juiced or 1 large orange, juiced 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, peeled
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

In a blender, combine the orange zest, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until combined. Transfer to a container and store in the refrigerator.

Appetizer: Shallot and Fig Jam on Goat Cheese Crostini with Aged Balsamic

Fig and Shallot Jam
2 1/2 cups water
24 ounces fresh black Mission figs, quartered (1 3/4 cups)
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup dry Sherry
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon minced, peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

Sauté shallots and Bring all ingredients except grape seed oil and lemon peel to boil in large saucepan. Simmer until mixture is syrupy and figs are tender, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Add more water by 1/4 cupful if mixture is too thick. Remove cinnamon stick. Transfer mixture to processor; pulse until almost smooth. Mix in grape seed oil and lemon peel. Cover jam and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving serve on Crostini with Goat cheese and aged Balsamic

1 Baguette sliced on a diagonal 3/4″ thick
Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Bake 350 until desired toast