Cafe Rio Recipes

A while back this pregnant lady was seriously craving herself some Cafe Rio! And, since Santa Cruz doesn’t have one, I pulled out these recipes I found a few years back. Sorry to whoever posted them, I don’t remember whose blog I found them on.

Oh how I LOVE this dressing! Matt and I were gobbling it up with chips while we were waiting for the pork to finish up. Mmm :)

Café Rio Dressing

1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (make as per recipe)

2 tomatillos (tomato like vegetable with a husk around them)

½ bunch of cilantro

1 clove garlic

Juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeño (Use the seeds too if you like it spicy. You could substitute a few drops of green Tabasco for the jalapeno.)

Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate.

The pork barbacoa is my favorite! Makes sense since a can of Dr. Pepper is in it :)

Sweet Pork

3lb. Pork Roast

16-oz. Chunky Salsa

1 Can Dr. Pepper

2 Cups Brown Sugar

Put pork in crock pot and fill half way with water.

Cook 4 hours on high. Drain water, cut the pork in thirds. Mix together sauce (blend in blender) and pour on top of pork. Cook 4 more hours on low. Shred pork.

Cafe Rio Chicken

1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing

1 T chili powder

1 T cumin

3 cloves garlic—minced

5 lbs chicken breast

Cook all together in a crock pot for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour.


Café Rio Rice

4 c water

4 t chicken bouillon

4 t garlic –minced

½ bunch cilantro

1 can green chilies—or equivalent fresh

¾ t salt

1 T butter

½ onion

2 c regular white rice

Blend cilantro, green chiles and onion together in food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes. (Watch carefully to prevent scorching on bottom of pan.)

Black Beans

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/3 cup tomato juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons 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.

You need warm flour tortillas and shredded cheddar cheese (I popped the bowl in the microwave for a few seconds with the tortilla in it and the cheese in the bottom).

Then add the rice, beans, meat, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo (or just tomatoes in our case), guacamole, cheese, cilantro, tortilla strips (or chips) and dressing.

EAT and ENJOY! You’re welcome :)






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  1. […] had the missionaries over for dinner and I made them these Cafe Rio pork salads. SO GOOD!! This was the best overhead shot I could get…ah well […]

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