Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Quesadillas Rojas de Chicharrón (Pork Cracklin Quesadillas)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Servings: 4-5 servings
The original Mexican quesadillas are made with freshly prepared corn tortillas. These delicious, easy quesadillas rojas de chicharrón will make you come back for seconds!

Many of my friends are surprised when I tell them that the only quesadillas I ever ate while growing up were made with corn tortillas. They were very much like these quesadillas rojas de chicharrón that are prepared with fresh corn tortillas. This easy version of chicharrones en salsa was a quick meal my family would prepare on the weekends for brunch. Enjoy the chicharrones with a side of beans and warm bolillo rolls. Or wow your friends with these quesadillas rojas filled with spicy pork cracklins in a freshly prepared salsa. A good quality store-bought tortilla can be used as well. If you really have the time, prepare your own tortillas. Store-bought tortillas will never be the same. When possible, stop by your local Mexican carnicería (butcher shop), where you will find homemade chicharrón. They are crunchy and meaty all at the same time!


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  1. In a bowl, add the masa harina, chile ancho powder and salt. Stir to combine. Gradually mix in the hot water until dough forms. Dough should be soft and slightly moist. Divide the masa into 8-10 equal balls and flatten slightly. Transfer to plate and cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Preheat comal or large griddle pan to medium heat for a few minutes. Line a tortilla press with two pieces of plastic. Gently press masa balls to form tortillas to about 5 inches in diameter. Cook for 25-30 seconds per side and place into a pot or tortilla warmer lined with a towel. Keep covered as you add the cooked tortillas. Set tortillas aside.
  3. In a glass bowl, combine the tomato, tomatillo, half the onion, the chopped serrano pepper and garlic. Cover with paper towel and cook in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave and transfer ingredients to the blender. Add the bouillon and 1/2 cup water. Blend on high until smooth, set aside.
  4. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil to medium heat. Add the remaining onion and serrano pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for a few minutes. Pour in the salsa from the blender. Stir well to combine and reduce heat to a light simmer.
  5. Add 6 (¾ of bag) ounces of pork cracklins to the simmering salsa. Stir well to coat evenly and let simmer for 7-9 minutes or until cracklins are semi soft and salsa has reduced and become thicker. Fold in 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped cilantro to chicharrones. Remove from heat.
  6. Once again, preheat griddle to medium heat for a few minutes. Place 2 tortillas onto griddle. Add 2 ounces of shredded cheese and 2 tablespoons of chicharrón filling to one side of tortilla. When tortilla is warm and flexible, use a spatula to fold over into a taco shape. Pressing gently, to hold in place, drizzle on a little bit of oil so it runs down onto hot surface. Cook the quesadillas until slightly crispy, turning as needed. Garnish with cotija cheese, onion, cilantro and extra crispy cracklins.

Chef Notes

For soft homemade corn tortillas, place tortillas in a pot lined with a towel. Keep covered as you cook them. The steam created will yield a soft tortilla. When ready to store, lay tortillas out so they can dry for a few minutes. Store in a plastic storage bag in the refrigerator.

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