Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cafe Rio Pork Salad

Cafe Rio?? What in tar-nation is that? Don't worry...I had to google it to find out too. It's a Mexican grill based in Utah that is supposedly drool worthy. But I guess I will be the judge of that!! ;)
I found this recipe on a blog while I was blog stalking...Oops! I mean blog searching. I am going to put this together soon for my hubbers who is WILD about mexi food. It sounds so interesting and I cant wait to try what the pork tastes like - cooked in coke and all. I am guessing it is using a roast (shoulder/butt/etc.) cut in the recipe.
I read a tip from the comments on their post that said the cilantro ranch sauce is better after sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Thanks Cookin with Friends!

2 pounds pork
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce
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 crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

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.


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. (**NOTE** we added a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder, it was AWESOME! We recommend doing this even though it's not "traditional Cafe Rio")

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 jalepeno (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.

Directions for the Salad:
K so now to make it all PERFECT... Here is how we put it all together: First of all, we bought the aluminum deep-dish pans (they had these at the grocery store, you will know when you see them.. they look JUST like the Cafe Rio tins). 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 (we used the leafy green lettuce, NOT ICEBURG) and a little scoop of diced tomato and onions (pico de gallo). We made up some gaucamole and put some of that on the salad (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). We also added a little spoonful of sour cream. Add some crushed tortilla chips (we have yet to find the little tortilla strips), a shake of parmesan cheese, and top with a few cilantro leaves. Serve with the cilantro ranch dressing and there you have it! It really is easier than it looks. It only took me about an hour to make (after the pork was in the crock pot). The rice and beans are SUPER easy, you definitely want the beans and rice to get the whole experience! Also, be generous with the cilantro! Try it and let me know what you think! I KNOW you won't be disappointed!!

1 comment:

  1. I live in Utah right now and I also live to eat Cafe Rio. I have a recipe for Cafe Rio food too, but it is a little different so if you would like a little variation, let me know. I use Dr Pepper instead of Coke. I think Dr Pepper is sweeter, but my recipe is very similar to yours.

    I hope you liked it! I like the salad, but I love the burrito. I use those tortillas that aren't cooked yet that you cook on your stove yourself. That's how Cafe Rio does their tortillas too.