Sunday, June 29, 2014

My Version of Cafe Rio.

This weekend I went camping with some of my brothers and their family. No one in the group really planned anything. My big concern was "what are we going to eat?" I ended up making food for the group. Spaghetti is pretty easy to make while camping, so that's what I decided on. I also brought a can of corn. When the spaghetti was cooked, I didn't want to dirty a pan to warm the corn. My sister-in-law suggested we just add the corn to the spaghetti. It was surprisingly tasty. My little niece ended up eating more than anyone.

Do you know what is better than spaghetti with corn? Copycat Cafe Rio!

I LOVE Cafe Rio. I have several Cafe Rio copycat recipes that I make, but I've never made them all together until today. Look at good the salad it turned out. Can you smell it? YUM!

Cafe Rio copycat salad

Here are the recipes and some of the steps that I followed.

Sweet Pork: I know, there are lots of copy cat Cafe Rio pork recipes out there. They all call for lots of ingredients. Not this one from my cousin. It's super, super simple. Ready?
1 pork roast
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup salsa
Put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours. 
Shred and mix together.
That's it!

Cilantro Ranch Dressing: (from
1 packet traditional Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not buttermilk)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (I don't like hot things, so I removed the seeds)
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend. 

Cilantro Lime Rice: ( adapted from )
1 cup uncooked rice (I used long-grain white rice)
1 tsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
3 cups water
1 tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped

In a saucepan, combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp lime juice, chicken bouillon, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn to low for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. As rice is cooking, mix together 1 tbs lime juice, sugar, and cilantro. When rice is done, remove from heat and mix in cilantro mixture.  

Finishing Touches: The way I build the salad

Tortilla- I like to buy uncooked tortillas. For some reason I think they taste better. Today, when the tortilla was cooking on its last side, I sprinkled on shredded cheddar cheese and let it melt. 

Lettuce- I like using romaine lettuce. Wash and cut into bite size pieces. Add to tortilla.

Add cilantro rice.

Black beans- I open a can of black beans and rinsed them with water. I warmed them up in the microwave, since I don't like cold beans.

Load with sweet pork.

Top with cilantro ranch dressing. 

There you have it! Try it out.

I can't wait to make myself a burrito, nachos, and quesadilla. Hopefully not all on the same day.

Are there other ingredients that you like to put on your salad? I would love to hear from you.