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Anyone cook with chicharrones, aka pork rinds?

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MrsJonesey Feb 25, 2013 09:53 AM

Bought some with skin attached and they're just too greasy to eat out of hand. Before I throw them away, I wondered if anyone cooks with them? My mother-in-law sometimes makes cornbread with cracklins, I think she calls them. Not sure if it is essentially the same thing or not.

Edited to add: "aka pork rinds" for those like me who know them better as such. I don't even know how to say chicharrones. :-)

  1. JungMann Feb 25, 2013 10:30 AM

    Pork rinds in the US are usually just skin; I assume you got some with meat attached? These meaty ones are great additions to stews. Chicharrones with salsa verde might be ideal for you since the heat and tart flavor will balance out the grease. Top them with some avocado and queso fresco and you've got a perfect meal with some tortillas.

    Pork rinds are also a great addition to stewed lentils or bean dishes. In Asian soups, you can use them as a substitute for fish maw or fried tofu. The pig skins are flavor sponges and soak up the broth but also release their porky goodness with every soup-bursting bite.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JungMann
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      MrsJonesey Feb 25, 2013 05:03 PM

      Hmm, I believe it said "fried-out pork fat with attached skins" or something close to that. I've never had any this greasy before, but I can see how that same grease released in cooking could be a big flavor boon. Stupid question, maybe, but do they stay crisp when added to something soupy? Thanks for all your suggestions.

      1. re: MrsJonesey
        Veggo Feb 25, 2013 05:19 PM

        "grueso" chicharron, with meat attached, is a common flavor addition to caldos or soups, and it loses any texture. The "delgado", or thin chicharron, is meant to stay crisp as a final garnish or side.

        1. re: Veggo
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          MrsJonesey Feb 25, 2013 06:06 PM

          Thanks! Just what I wanted to know.

    2. Sra. Swanky Feb 25, 2013 10:10 AM

      Make a mofongo and mash the chicharrones right in. Delicious!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sra. Swanky
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        MrsJonesey Feb 25, 2013 10:25 AM

        You seriously expect someone who only recently come to know pork rinds as chicharrones to know what a mofongo is? lol. So I looked it up. Sounds very good. Thanks. Reminds me we need to check out the new Peurto Rican restaurant here.

        1. re: MrsJonesey
          Sra. Swanky Feb 25, 2013 05:28 PM

          LOL! Sorry! We're all foodies on this thing, so I didn't want to assume you didn't know and I didn't have a chance to put up a link for you before! Now I'm home, the kids are snoozing finally, and I can add the link I wanted. :o) Here's a good recipe..
          http://latinfood.about.com/od/saladsd...

          1. re: Sra. Swanky
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            MrsJonesey Feb 25, 2013 06:04 PM

            Thanks so much for the link and not wanting to assume I wouldn't know what a mofongo is! :-) That sounds really good. I love most fried foods but don't like to fry, so this will be something I'll look for if we ever try out the Puerto Rican restaurant.

      2. biondanonima Feb 25, 2013 10:02 AM

        I use them frequently - they're a staple of low-carb diets. You can crush them up and use them in place of breadcrumbs for filler in meatloaf, etc., or as a coating for anything you might want to pan fry.

        1 Reply
        1. re: biondanonima
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          MrsJonesey Feb 25, 2013 10:27 AM

          Hmm, wonder if my son has tried either of these. He snacks on them since going low-carb. Thanks!

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