Chochoyotes or corn masa dumplings are a delicious add in for your favorite soups, stew and chili. My favorite way to enjoy them is in a simple salsa verde or chile rojo sauce with a little added chicken broth. And for a more complete meal, try adding in some spicy shrimp or shredded chicken.
It seems as of late that when I start to develop a new recipe, I end up with two or more recipes on one blog post. After a while you develop your own style of cooking and this is how I cook on a daily basis. I try to incorporate sauces, salsa’s and marinades I may have had leftover from a previous recipe. In today’s blog post, that was the case. I had a good amount of tomatillo salsa I had prepared the day before ready in the refrigerator. And I also had a small amount of chile marinade leftover from a previous recipe.
I like to break down the recipes individually and in the order I prepared them. There is a method to my madness, lol! You first want to prepare the masa for the chochoyotes/dumplings. While the masa is resting, prepare the tomatillo salsa. And then while the salsa is simmering and becoming more flavorful, prepare the chile marinade for the shrimp. When you are ready to bring it all together, shape the dumplings and cook them. Keep them warm on low and finally cook the shrimp.
Chochoyotes en Caldo de Tomatillo
Masa Para Chochoyotes~Dough for Dumplings
4 cups masa harina
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons manteca or shortening
2 1/3 cups really hot water
For Red Chile Version
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons chile pasilla or chile ancho powder
For Cilantro Version
Add 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Tips~ Each section of masa will make about 24 small dumplings. If you don’t need that many, you could slpit each section and press out so some of the masa balls to cook some fresh tortillas. Store the cooled tortillas for later.
1. Add dry ingredients to a large bowl. Cut in the manteca until crumbly. If preparing both varieties, divide the masa equally in to separate bowls.
2. In one bowl add the cilantro. In the other bowl add the chile power. Working one bowl at a time, gradually add in the hot water until dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
3. To make chochoyotes, roll out about 24 small masa balls from each. Use your thumb to make indentation in masa ball and form into a little cup. Keep them cover in plastic while you do this so they don’t dry out.
4. Once ready, the masa dumplings can be added to simmering, sauce, salsa or broth. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. They should float to the top.
The Tortillas From the Masa with Cilantro
For Tomatillo Salsa-Caldo de Tomatillo
6 large tomatillos
3 serranos or 2 jalapeños
1 small sweet onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic
Small handful cilantro, I left it whole
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
*2 bay leaves
Tips~ If you wanted to eliminate the chicken broth and prepare a pure salsa base, just add a few more tomatillos. Adjust the heat level by adding more chile peppers, if you like. You will still need to add some water if using it to cook the chochoyotes.
1. Remove husk from tomatillos and rinse under lukewarm water. Transfer to a medium pot. Remove stems from chile peppers. Add the tomatillos, chile peppers, onion and garlic to a pot of simmering water. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Using a slotted spoon, add salsa ingredients to the blender. To the blender, add 1 cup chicken broth and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth, set aside. Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan to medium for 2 minutes. Add the salsa from blender, cumin, oregano, cilantro, bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until it thickens and reduces slightly.
3. If adding the chochoyotes, you want to carefully drop them in while the salsa is simmering. They need to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. For this recipe, I added 12 dumplings. The dumplings will plump up when you cook them. I served 3 per person and topped the dish with 3 large shrimp. Remove the cilantro before serving.
12 large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
salt and pepper
3 guajillo peppers
4 chile de arbol
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
S&P to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. After you clean the shrimp, season lighlty with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to use. Fill a small saucepan with water and heat to medium.
2. Remove stems and seeds from guajillo peppers and tear into smaller pieces. If chile de arbol have stems, remove those as well. Add the dried peppers to a skillet and heat to medium heat. After a few minutes they will begin to toast and become aromatic. Turn and cook for just another 30 to 40 seconds.
3. Transfer peppers to saucepan with water that has been heating. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for another 5 minutes. Drain almost of the water, reserving about 1/4 cup. Transfer peppers and water to the blender. Add garlic, cumin, vinegar, salt, pepper and oil. Blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt.
4. Pour chile sauce over the shrimp. Stir to coat evenly and chill for 20 minutes. When ready to cook, you can use some small wooden skewers and add a few shrimp or you can cook the marinated shrimp as is. In a large skillet, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive to medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Lay the shrimp flat in hot oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and serve over Chochoyotes en Salsa Verde. Yields 3-4 servings. Garnish with queso cotija and cilantro.
Chochoyotes Enchilados~Red Chile Masa Dumplings
For this tasty recipe, I prepared my easy version of a Tex Mex Enchilada Sauce and added the chile infused chochoyotes. Top with some shredded jack or muenster cheese, corn and green onions. Wow! It was like enjoying the flavors of cheese enchiladas and tamales all in one! click onto picture for full recipe for the sauce.
Tips~Gently drop the uncooked masa dumplings into the simmering sauce and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more chicken broth or water before adding the dumplings.