Culinary Venezuela @ Las Cosas

This week I attended a cooking class for Venezuelan food at Las Cosas with Maria Bernardez and Johnny Vee. I liked the Chicken a La Reina Pepiada filling for the arepas best. Both the yellow corn and white corn arepas were good. My favorite sauce was the roasted garlic crema.

Class Description: Join Chef Maria Bernadez as she shares with us recipes from her culinary roots in her native Venezeula with a menu of classic dishes. Maria blends food and culture in her teaching and tonight we make: Tamarind & Passion Fruit Juice, Homemade Habanero Hot Sauce, Guasacaca Sauce, Roasted Garlic Crema, White & Yellow Corn Arepas, Coconut Black Beans, Chicken a La Reina Pepiada, Sweet Peppers Sofrito Fried Plantains, and Queso Fresco. Don’t miss this delicious visit to this beautiful country. (Hands-On)


Per usual, the menu items were divided up among the class members. I worked on Habanero hot sauce and yellow corn arepas with my spouse, Shawn.

Homemade Habanero Hot Sauce

Our ingredients for the recipe were on the provided tray. Exceptions – the onion must have been for someone else’s recipe. The black pepper was also not for this recipe. Same for the cilantro that is wrapped in the paper towel. The bowl contained the sweet peppers. The glass container included both habanero and manzano peppers. Not in the photo – the vegetable broth.


I chopped and seeded the peppers and then all the ingredients (sweet peppers, champagne vinegar, habanero peppers, manzano peppers, garlic, and broth went into a blender. We tasted the mixture to determine how much salt to add. After getting a smooth consistency, we used a funnel to get it into a squeeze bottle.


Yellow Corn Arepas

We started with yellow corn masa and added the salt.


Then we started adding the heavy cream and vegetable broth.


We roasted some frozen corn kernels on the stovetop and then added them to a blender to puree.


We added it to the masa mixture.


And continued to mix until it was all incorporated.


We formed them into patties.


We cooked them on a grill pan on the stovetop to brown/char them.


Then they went into the oven to finish cooking.


Another group was working on white corn arepas. To eat them, we sliced them open and put our choice of the other dishes prepared in class as filling.

The Other Menu Items

Guasacaca Sauce (far left) – avocado, sweet onion, sweet yellow pepper, jalapeño pepper, garlic cloves, cilantro, parsley, olive oil, lime, white vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Roasted Garlic Crema (middle) – sour cream, roasted head of garlic, cilantro, mint, and salt.

The sauce on the far right is the Habanero Hot Sauce.


Coconut Black Beans – cooked black beans, coconut milk, coconut oil, onions, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, and queso fresco.


Chicken a La Reina Pepiada – roasted chicken, avocados, parsley, salt, and pepper.


Sweet Peppers Sofrito – large sweet peppers (yellow, orange, and red), onion, coconut oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.


Fried Plantains – yellow/black ripe plantains, coconut oil, salt, and queso fresco. These were eaten with queso fresco sprinkled on top.


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