When we were living in Scottsdale, Cinco de Mayo was a very big deal. Parades, mariachi music and the food. Oh, the food. In fact as long as I can remember Mexican Food has always been a big part of our lives. My grandfather owned a construction company in Southern Arizona and came to love Mexican Food. And my grandmother, originally from Texas, knew how to make it – especially Pork Fajita Quesadillas. She didn’t have a Slow Cooker back then but instead cooked the pork slowly in a big pot until it fell apart.
So as a result, from generation to generation, Mexican Food has been a staple in our family. Growing up, we had tacos, flautas with guacamole, burritos or enchiladas almost every week. And Christmas Eve would not have been Christmas Eve without those homemade tamales that my aunt and cousins made.
As I began cooking on my own, I still made the family favorites. But then I branched our a bit to chimichangas, Chile rellanos, fajitas and pozole. And although I love quesadillas and have ordered them in restaurants, I somehow never got around to making them. Until now. With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I thought it was time for Quesadillas. But how to make them special? Well, of course, the way my grandmother made them.
Pork Fajita Quesadillas
First, Quesadillas call for meat that’s juicy and pull-apart tender. So I grabbed my slow cooker. So much easier than watching that pot all day long like my grandmother did. And because of her, I wanted to make these quesadillas pork. I didn’t have her exact recipe, but the seasoning had to be the flavors of Mexico. Smokey, Spicy, and Savory. Cumin for sure, as well as Mesquite Smoke Powder. I still remember smelling the mesquite fires in Scottsdale, which is heavenly. So a smoked spice like Smoked Mesquite powder as well as another spicy kick of smoked paprika would work great.
Because I wanted these quesadillas to be extra special for Cinco de Mayo, and because I love fajitas, I decided to combine the two and make Pork Fajita Quesadillas. So I caramelized some onions and red peppers. And to add an extra punch of flavor, I added a chipotle cheddar cheese that’s works perfectly with this dish. It’s super spicy and great.
Putting the quesadillas together was so easy. I added a flour tortilla to a light oiled frypan. Sprinkled it with shredded chipotle cheddar cheese. Next added the shredded smoky pork. Then I added the Caramelized onions and peppers. Topped it with more shredded cheese and added a second tortilla on top of it. Cooked it a few minutes until it was browned and flipped the quesadilla over and continued to cook for a few minutes more.
And that was it. I cut the quesadilla into quarters and served it with pico de gallo, sliced avocados, some lime wedges and topped it with some fresh cilantro. Happy Cinco de Mayo!
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- 1/2 Pound Pork tenderloin
- 1 Tsp Olive oil
- 1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Tsp Mesquite Smoke Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Cumin
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Pepper
- 1 Tsp Olive oil
- 1/2 Cup Red Peppers Sliced
- 1/2 Cup Onion Sliced
- 1 Tsp Olive oil
- 4 Large Flour Tortillas
- 1/2 Cup Chipotle Cheddar Cheese Shredded (Pepper Jack can be substituted)
- 2 Tbsp Cilantro Chopped
Rub olive oil on all sides of pork tenderloin
In a small bowl mix smoked paprika, hickory smoke powder, cumin, salt, pepper. Add spices evenly over pork tenderloin.
Heat frypan to medium high heat. Add pork loin and sear pork to brown about 2 minutes on each side.
Add pork to slow cooker, cover and set on low. Allow to cook 5-6 hours until pork shreds easily.
To assemble quesadillas. Unplug slow cooker and shred pork with two forks and let it remain in slow cooker to keep warm.
In a saucepan over medium high heat add oil, red peppers and onions. Cook 3-4 minutes until onions begin to caramelize.
Add 1 tsp olive oil to large frypan and add two flour tortillas. Top each with 1/4 of the shredded cheese, 1/2 portion of the pork, 1/2 portion of the peppers and onions and the remaining 1/4 shredded cheese. Top each with another tortilla. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes until browned. Turn and cook 2 more minutes.
Cut each quesadilla into fourths and sprinkle with cilantro. Serving suggestion: Sliced limes, avocados and pico de gallo.