Bocoles are one of my all-time favorite Mexican foods; maybe because they bring about so many childhood memories. Traditional to la Huasteca region in northeast Veracruz, I grew up eating these treats. Bocoles are not something that my mother used to prepare, but something I would eat for breakfast when I stayed with my grandparents in Platón. After our vacation trips, we would bring bocoles and freeze them by batches to slowly unfreeze and eat them until our next trip. I don’t get to eat bocoles very often anymore, and I don’t get to visit my grandparents that much either. So, this recipe is filled with longing for home on a cold November day.
As I prepared bocoles for the first time for Thanksgiving dinner, Humberto and I decided to start a family tradition and have bocoles along with the stuffing, the mash potatoes and the cranberry sauce in the years to come.
Bocoles are, of course, prepared with freshly ground masa and lard; I substituted those ingredients with good results with maseca and butter. To be honest, lard does give bocoles a fluffier texture and a particular unique taste, but butter is not so bad, plus (I would imagine) it is (somewhat) healthier. Another hard to come by ingredient is the sun dried chile chino. I bring some every time I come back from Mexico, but if I do not have, I use chile ancho.
– 4 cups of maseca + 3 cups of lukewarm water , or 1kg (2.2lb) of masa
– 8 table spoons (113g; 4oz) unsalted butter softened
– 5 tea spoons of salt
– 3 tea spoon of seasoning (I used herbamare; Asian blend)
– 30g (1 oz) sun dried chile chino or chile ancho + ½ cup of water
– 400g (14 oz) crumbled queso fresco
In a large bowl mix together the maseca, salt and seasoning. Add the lukewarm water and the softened butter. Mix it thoroughly for about 8 to 10 minutes or until you form soft dough. The dough should be moist and soft, but should not stick to your hands. If the dough feels dry, add more water one table spoon at a time.
Heat a comal or skillet over medium heat, roast the sundried chile chino for about 5 minutes. Put in a blender and, well, blend with ½ cup of water until liquid. Fold in the crumbled queso fresco.
Grab a ball of dough (a little smaller than an egg) and flatten it with your hands. Add the queso fresco salsa and wrap it over by bringing the tips of the dough to the center, and preparing a pattie.
Cook in a skillet or comal over medium-heat for about 3 minutes on each side. You will know that they are ready when they are crusty and flecked with brown in spots.
Serve bocoles warm.