Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cafe Rio Salad (Copy Cat Recipe)


When I saw this recipe it was one I for sure needed to save to my collection of good recipes I have going on here & I can't wait to try it out. I love Cafe Rio and their Salads are Awesome. Yum! My mouth is watering for one right now. I'm sure you can easily change up the recipe to make it a little more healthy if you'd like. I found this recipe at Favorite Family Recipes 

Build it how you like!
You need:
6 large Tortillas (Homemade or buy the fresh ones at the store and put on griddle)
Shredded cheese, Mexican blend
Cafe Rio Rice (see full recipe below)
Cafe Rio Black Beans (full recipe below)
Cafe Rio Sweet Pork (full recipe below)
Lettuce (NOT iceberg, use leafy green or Romaine)
Diced tomato, onion, and cilantro (pico de gallo)
Guacamole
Sour cream
Crispy Tortilla Strips (can buy at the store or see Here for "Favorite Family Recipes" homemade version)
Parmesan cheese
Cafe Rio Cilantro Ranch (full recipe below)
You can get the aluminum deep-dish pans at the grocery store just like Cafe Rio :) Lay a tortilla in the bottom of the pan, sprinkle cheese on it, and put in the oven at 375 for about 5 min or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven, add beans, rice, pork, then lettuce and a little scoop of diced tomato and onions (pico de gallo). Add guacamole and sour cream. Add crushed tortilla chips, a shake of Parmesan cheese, and top with a few cilantro leaves. Serve with the cilantro ranch and Eat up! Yum! (makes about 6 salads)  

SWEET PORK: (can also use Grilled Chicken instead of the sweet pork recipe)
2 pounds pork (they like to use boneless pork ribs)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can diced green chilies (I may try it without these)
3/4 (1ooz) can red enchilada sauce (they used Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

CILANTRO-LIME RICE:
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.

BLACK BEANS:
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

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

CILANTRO RANCH:
1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (we like it SPICY so we kept the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!

*I also found another version of the dressing recipe at Our Best Bites

I know there are many other versions of the whole recipe everywhere on the web.  This one looks the best to me, let me know if you've tried it. I've had some pretty good versions that family and friends have tried too. I Love it!! 

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