Recipe: Cafe Rio Pork SaladPrint This Post
To build your salad, you start with a flour tortilla, add a smidge handful of cheese, a spoonful or two of black beans, a spoonful or two of rice, as much pork as you think you can get away with, pile on shredded romaine lettuce, a couple of spoonfuls of pico, some guacamole if you have it, the tomatillo dressing and then homemade tortilla strips
Total Prep-time: 18 hours, technically. But most of that is just waiting for the pork to cook. I’d say active cook time for the entire meal was perhaps an hour, maybe 1 hour 15 mins. Lots of this meal (dressing, pico) can be made before-hand and kept in the fridge until it’s time to eat.
Café Rio Salad Ingredients
- Tortilla – you can make your own, mine came from a package.
- Cheese – it is a good idea to warm on the tortilla so the cheese is a little melty.
- Beans – black or pinto (mine came straight out of the can, warmed in the microwave with a little garlic powder and green Tabasco sauce).
- Rice – don’t be stingy now!
- Pork – I am actually salivating while writing this post…
- Lettuce – Shredded Romaine, you want small enough pieces to get a little of everything on your fork
- Pico de Gallo – I like extra pico, so I give myself an extra scoop.
- Tortilla Strips – slice a corn tortilla into strips, brush with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake on a foil-covered sheet for 15-20 minutes at 350-ish.
- Creamy Tomatillo Dressing – I like to keep mine on the side so my lettuce doesn’t get too slobbery
Cafe Rio Cilantro Rice
- 3 cups. water
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 can (4 oz) green chilies
- 4 tsp. chicken bouillon
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 TB butter
- 3 cups rice, uncooked
- Bring water to a boil in large pot, add all ingredients.
- Cook covered for 30 minutes, or until rice is done.
Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa
- 5-6 lb. pork roast
- 21 oz. Dr. Pepper (or Coke, do NOT use diet soda)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 7 oz. can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
- 6-ish oz. red taco sauce (I used hot)
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Place roast in crock-pot, cover half-way with water and cook on low for 12 hours. (I started my Pork Adventure at midnight and everything worked out perfectly for Sunday dinner at 6:00 pm.) After 12 hours, drain pork (retain liquid if you want sauce for burritos, simply mix with a can of verde enchilada sauce and away you go.)
- Mix remaining ingredients until sugar dissolves. I didn’t keep the actual chilies, I dumped the can into a bowl and added enough Dr. Pepper to get all the sauce off of the chilies, then I tossed them. I also rinsed out the can with Dr. Pepper for more adobo goodness. My version had a fairly good kick to it, but if you LOVE hotness, then blend everything + 2 or 3 chilies in the blender. (Also, the adobo sauce tends to stain plastic, using a glass or metal mixing bowl will make your clean-up of adobo sauce considerably less frustrating.)
- Add Dr. Pepper mixture to the roast and cook on low an additional 4 hours. Take out roast and shred, add back into sauce and cook for 2 more hours. At this point the meat was so tender it practically shredded itself.
Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing
- 1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
- 3 tomatillos (remove papery skin), rough chop
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup (or more) cilantro, rough chop
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp green Tabasco sauce
- juice from 1 lime
- Dump everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Refrigerate in air-tight container (or your entire fridge will smell like garlic and cilantro).
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced
- 1/2 sweet onion, minced
- 1 section of green pepper, minced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- about 1/3-1/2 cup vinegar (use your best judgment)
- salt and pepper
- Mix it up really well and refrigerate. I put my pico in a Tupperware and shook it up really well right before serving to re-mix.