Monday, December 10, 2007

Knock off of a Cafe Rio salad

I have to say I've never eaten at Cafe Rio but on a message board I frequent they talk about this place all the time. The salad just sounded so tasty I had to give it a try and so we did. I don't know where the knock off recipes came from but I found them on the pinchingyourpennies website. This was a very yummy salad and one I can't wait to make again. My boys even really liked the pork, beans, and rice. This is going to be one very long post in order to post all the recipes involved.

Cilantro Lime Rice
3 c water
3 c rice
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp salt
¼ cup lime juice
1/2 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro, remove large stems
1 small can green chiles

Place water, rice, bouillon, and salt in pot. Bring to boil. Place lime juice, onion, garlic, cilantro and green chilies in a blender and puree. Stir into rice. Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes.

Black Beans
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 Tbl finely mined onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup tomato juice
3 Tbl chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 tsp salt
Fry onion, garlic and cumin in a small amount of olive oil. Add beans, tomato juice, cilantro and salt and heat through.

Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa
Pork Roast: Put it in a crock pot with a little water and cook until very tender (about 8 hours on low).
Shred pork and add:
1 can enchilada sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small can diced green chilies
1 can Coke (not diet coke)
1 cup brown sugar
salt to taste
Cook for one more hour.

Pico de Gallo
4 ripe Tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 jalapeno, minced (remove the seeds and veins if you don’t like a lot of heat)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
lime juice, to taste
salt, to taste
Mix everything together.

2-3 ripe Avocados
1-2 Tbl lime juice
1/2 tomato, finely chopped
2 Tbl finely chopped onion
salt, to taste (or use garlic salt)
Mash avocado and lime juice with a fork. Fold in the tomato, onion, and salt.

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
1 package Ranch Buttermilk Dressing mix
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup Mayonnaise (I use half mayo and half sour cream)
3 fresh tomatillos
1 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Just put everything in a blender and puree.Refrigerate for a couple of hours and if you need to, adjust the thickness by adding more buttermilk to thin it out, or sour cream to make it thicker.

Now to make the salad place the following things on the plate in order listed:
1. Large Flour TortillasUse homemade or buy the uncooked ones and cook them on a griddle. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top and cook until the cheese is melted. Place the cheesy tortillas in a cake pan.
2. Spanish Rice
3. Black Beans
4. Meat of your choice
5. Romaine Lettuce
Wash thoroughly, and cut into large squares.
6. Pico de Gallo
7. Guacamole
8. Lime Wedges
9. Grated Cotija cheese
10. Cilantro sprigs
11. Crispy Tortilla Strips Just cut some corn Tortillas in thin strips and quickly fry until crisp. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little bit of salt.
12. Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

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