Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Café Rio Dinner

I love Café Rio.  My friend gave me a recipe for their Pork Barbacoa Salad.  It was yummy, but just too sweet for my taste, so I tweaked it.  It was a huge hit.  I hope you like it, too!

*WARNING* Do not chop jalapenos with your bare hands then take your contacts out.  Just don’t.  Ever.

Moving right along…

I should have taken a nice picture of the salad all put together, but whatevs.  Here is a real life picture for your viewing enjoyment:P1030761

You’ll need:

6 large Tortillas
Shredded cheese, Mexican blend
Cafe Rio Rice
Cafe Rio Black Beans
Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
Lettuce (NOT Iceberg, use leafy green or Romaine)
Diced tomato, onion, and cilantro (Pico de Gallo)
Sour cream
Tortilla Strips
Cotija cheese, crumbled (or you can use Feta or Parmesan)
Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

(scroll down to see the rice, beans, pork, and ranch recipes...)

Here is how we put it all together:

Lay a tortilla on the bottom of your plate, add some hot pork from the crock pot, sprinkle cheese on it, then lettuce and a little scoop of diced tomato and onions (Pico de Gallo). Add guacamole, tomatillo ranch, and sour cream. Add crushed tortilla chips, a shake of Parmesan cheese, and top with a few cilantro leaves—or not if cilantro isn’t your cup of tea. Serve with the beans and rice, or add them to your salad.  Whatever makes your boat float!


2-3 minced jalapenos depending on how hot you like it
2 pounds pork roast
1 cup salsa
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. water
1 can diced green chilies
1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness)
1 c. brown sugar

Blend all ingredients except pork roast in a blender or food processor.  Pour over roast in a crock pot.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Remove roast and pull with a fork.  If you’re short on time (which I always am…) you can do this in the food processor, too.  Just add small chunks and pulse it until it is shredded.  Put pork back in the crock pot and cook for another hour.

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.


I can of corn
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
Chili powder to taste

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, corn, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.  Add a few dashes of chili powder



  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 envelope Ranch Salad Dressing
  • ½ envelope Fiesta Ranch Salad Dressing
  • 6 tomatillos, husked and cut in half 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice from 2 freshly squeezed limes
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a blender. And blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

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