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These little circular dough treats are called “Bocoles” in the Huasteca region of Mexico. As I’ve mentioned before, the Huasteca region is formed by several states, including Veracruz, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Hidalgo, and some areas of Queretaro and Puebla.
These delicious corn dough patties can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served plain, with cheese, or stuffed like a gordita. Some of the fillings are pork cracklings in salsa, eggs, picadillo, refried beans, and cheese. In some towns, this recipe is made using suet or lard, but since those types of fats are not available everywhere (and some people don’t like their taste), we will be using butter. This is one of the humblest meals you can find in our gastronomy, and it has been made for generations. Especially in more rural areas, people will have these patties for breakfast or dinner with coffee. I love that you can make a batch of them and just reheat a couple to have along with your afternoon cup of coffee.
There are other versions of these patties where the dough is mixed with black beans.
MAKES 8 BOCOLES
- 1 cup of corn flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 tablespoons butter or lard
- 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco*
- 3 Tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, or mint
- ¾ cup warm water
- In case you don’t find the Mexican cheese, you can use other cheeses like feta or parmesan (these two are a little salty, so omit the salt mentioned in the ingredients list if using them). You can also use some shredded cheese, like Monterrey, if none of the others are available.
- The instructions for this recipe call for a tortilla maker, but you can also form the patties by hand, if you are up to it.
- While forming the patties, have a small bowl with warm water close by, that way you can moisten your fingertips in order to smooth the edges of the patties. I recommend this because corn dough tends to dry up quickly, making it difficult to shape.
1. Place the corn flour, salt, butter, and cheese in a bowl, and stir to mix well. Once these ingredients are completely mixed, add the chopped cilantro.
2. Slowly add the warm water and knead to form a soft dough, it will feel a little sticky. The total kneading time will be about 4-5 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 small balls.
3. Heat the griddle to a medium heat, and, using a paper napkin, dab the surface with a little oil. These little patties sometimes tend to stick to the griddle.
4. To form the patties/bocoles, place each ball of dough between to pieces of plastic, place on your tortilla maker, and gently press down to form a circle of 2-½ inches in diameter and about 1/3-in thick.
5. Place each formed patty on the hot griddle and cook for 2-½ minutes, then turn and cook for 3-½ to 4 minutes and then turn again to cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the griddle and cover with a kitchen napkin to keep them warm while you cook the rest of the dough.
Serve topped with salsa, with a cup of coffee for breakfast or dinner. You can also serve them with a bowl of black bean soup, or some delicious creamy guacamole. Enjoy!
Check the recipe for the creamy guacamole bellow.
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