Lately, I have been thinking about the many ways that tripe and other offal cuts are prepared in Mexico, like in these Tripe Quesadillas from the State of Chiapas. Unfortunately, it seems that all of these interesting dishes are disappearing from our tables.
Once you remove the tripe from the vacuum sealed package, drain any excess liquid. Chop into small ¾ inch pieces.
Place the tripe, onion, garlic, and bay leaf in a large pot. Add enough water to cover and season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Place the lid on the pot and cook until the tripe is tender about 2 to 2-½ hours. Remove the tripe using a slotted spoon and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the cooked and drained tripe and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped onions and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Add the tomatoes, stir, and cover to cook for 8 more minutes.
Add the oregano and chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Keep cooking until most of the liquid has been reduced. Set aside.
TO FORM THE QUESADILLAS:
Heat a skillet up to medium-high heat. Place the tortilla on the skillet to warm up on one side for about 20 seconds. Turn the tortilla over and add about 3 tablespoons of the tripe and 1½ tablespoons of shredded cheese.
Fold the tortilla in half with the help of a spatula. Lightly brush with some vegetable oil and continue cooking. Flip the quesadilla over and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and the tortilla has started to get a golden-brown color. Brush this other side with vegetable oil, too. The quesadillas will take about 1½ minutes per side to cook.
Repeat this process until you assemble all the quesadillas. To keep them warm while you finish, place them in a baking dish in a warm oven. Serve with Green Salsa.
These quesadillas are traditionally made using Oaxaca Cheese, but that is not available everywhere, so you may use Mozzarella, Muenster, or Monterey Jack.If you like to spice things up, you can add a couple of chopped jalapeño peppers, too.