Saturday, March 10, 2012

Frijoles de la Olla Con Chochoyotes (Beans with Masa Dumplings)

My grandmother came from my mothers side came not so long ago to visit us from Texas, so that's why I been dishing out lots of Mexican dishes & posts lately :) hope whoever is reading them is enjoying lol.

Anyways what are "Chochoyotes" they are dumplings made out pre-dominantly of corn masa (masa harina) & tastey pork fat with salt to taste. They are rolled into balls, an indentation is made on them with your thumb or whatever, and added to soups or stews. They taste like a dense tamale.

These things called "Chochoyotes" are something fairly new to me, my mother, grandmother and other family friends had no clue such a thing existed (even though they're Mexican) the reason is that Mexican Cuisine can vary A LOT and be very regional depending where your from, I learned about these from a woman who shared her way of making these dumplings who's family is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, those dumplings are popular in that area's cuisine, so yup that's how I learned them :) the recipe that was shared involved squash blossoms, sometype of chile colorado all cooked together with these dumplings, so I was like "oh I'm sure it'll be good in a pot of soupy pinto or black beans) and thus came this recipe, plus I saw a newspaper article where someone made black beans with some sort of masa dumplings as well.


-1 lb. pinto, flor de mayo, peruvian, or black beans (either one of those are suitable I used Pinto this time)
-1/2 a large onion
-2 cloves garlic
-1 serrano chile (optional I use it sometimes gives a peppery taste)
-a small bunch of epazote (optional I know it's hard to come by for some people, but if you live in Southern California you'll find it at any Mexican store)

Ingredients for dumplings:
-1 1/2 cups maseca (masa harina)
-about 1 cup or more of water (you'll add it slowly and see how much you need)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup of lard (best if it's "asiento" which is the bottom part of the pot when rendering lard with all the pork rind powder, but lard can be used)

Ingredients to serve/ garnish: (you don't have to use all of them, just what you like, I always have to have the tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro. the rest I use them if I have it on hand)
-a small bowl of chopped tomatoes
-a small bowl of chopped onions
-a small bowl of chopped green chili peppers (jalapeno or serrano)
-1 small bowl of chopped cilantro
-chopped avocado in a bowl
-cubes a fresh cheese queso fresco
-mexican cream

Directions for dumplings:
(1) Add maseca, and salt to a bowl, stram in water a little at a time, running your hands in circular motion DO NOT PRESS the dough just swoosh it around, when it forms crumbly and a little moist, begin to press together until you get a compact dough.
(2) Add melted lard, and work the dough 4-5 minutes until everything is well married.
(3) Make little balls out of it, not to little like umm a tiny gulf ball & make an endentation with your thumb or index finger.
(4) Arrange in a plate, cover with damp cloth until ready to use.
Directions for beans and the rest of the stuff:
(1) Wash and rinse beans, bring to a boil together with water, onion, and garlic (enough water to submerge them 2 inches or more), cover lower heat and allow to cook about 1 1/2- 2 hours til tender (that's how long my beans took, you can soak em overnight if you'd like, or cook them the same day it works for me)

(2) When beans are tender add salt to taste (I use about 2 teaspoons) remove onion and garlic throw away, and add epazote if using,
the masa dumplings,
bring to a boil and allow to boil over medium covered about 5-7 minutes. Turn off heat and remove from heat. DO NOT. I REPEAT DO NOT allow the masa dumplings to boil to long they will disintegrate into the beans and you'll get a gruel. It'll be terrible (it's happened to me before it isn't the first time I've cooked this I learn from trial and error lol.) oh and remove the epazote/ discard
(3) Serve in a shallow bowl, and add any of the toppings/ garnishes, mix up and enjoy :)
(1) For those that may get a panic attack from using some lard in cooking, feel free to use extra-virgin olive oil, or some other type of oil, but it won't be as tastey ;)

(2) And please please please heed my word do not let these dumplings cook too long in your pot of beans they WILL start breaking and be mush.

(3) It wouldn't hurt to boil the beans with some pork ribs or pork neck bones but that'll be another story or post ;)

(4) If your short on time, or intimidated to make the dumpling dough from scratch, but fresh prepared masa from a Mexican super market (the kind used to make tortillas not tamales) and use about 2 cups of that, and add 1/4 cup lard and salt to taste and work that dough a bit and well you know the rest.

... y oye tengan quidado porque despues de comerse un platazo de esto se van a tirar unos bombasos asi que mejor ir a la casa de tu peor enemigo despues de comer esto ja ja j/k.