Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cafe Rio.....WHERE ARE YOU?!

I remember the first Cafe Rio they opened in Salt Lake City.  It is on Fort Union right by Target.  That place was where the 'Cool' people ate.  I used to ALWAYS order their chile con queso and their PORK SALAD.  Oh....that pork salad.  I DREAM about that pork salad.  Their 'Salad' is comprised of a a torilla at the bottom of a bowl with a little melted cheese on top, your choice of black or pinto beans, rice, lettuce and the most heavenly pork!  But let's not forget the tomatillo dressing.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

I am broken there are no Cafe Rio's in the Colorado Springs area.  What do I do in a pinch?  I find a knock off recipe online and compare.

Cafe Rio Knock Off Pork Salad Recipe:

2 Tbsp. oil
4 c. long grain rice (6 c. water)
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 2 limes
2 tsp. crushed garlic

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add rice, cilantro, and garlic. Saute 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water and lime juice and bring to boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice (about 20 minutes). You can also use a rice cooker if you have one.

This rice is hideous! DON'T MAKE IT!  UG!  There is nothing more to say...JUST DON'T make it!

pork roast
1 (16 oz.) bottle of salsa
1 can coke
2 c. brown sugar

Place pork in crock-pot and fill it half way up with water. Cook roast on high for 5 hours. Drain off water. Cut pork in thirds. Mix together ingredients (salsa, coke, brown sugar) and put on top of pork. Cook an additional 3 hours on high. Shred pork with forks. Leave it on low until ready to serve.

I have to admit, the pork was pretty impressive. The meat was falling to pieces! However, next time I make this, I will not use the salsa. It gave the pork a pot roast sort of taste that it just didn't need. It took away from the sweetness of the meat. I also don't recall there being salsa in the Cafe Rio version.

1 packet hidden valley ranch buttermilk dressing
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. mayo or sour cream
2-3 tomatillas (peel off outer leaf/shell)
1 tsp. crushed garlic
¾ bunch fresh cilantro
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
juice from 1 lime (about 2 tsp.)
salt & pepper

Blend all ingredients in the blender. Refrigerate.

I wasn't sure anyone would be able to duplicate the Cafe Rio dressing, but this came REALLY close.  It was altogether WAY too runny.  You could half the buttermilk and I think it would resolve the runny issue.  Otherwise, the taste on this dressing is RIGHT ON!!!!  I used this dressing for a lot of things besides this pork.  I dipped quesadilla's in it, put in on other salads...HEAVEN!!!!

Alex and I opted not to make salads out of this recipe and unded up just making tacos and using the dressing to 'dress the tacos'.  YUM!!!  I got my Cafe Rio fix long distance. :)

1 comment:

Jenn said...

THANK YOU!!!! If there is one thing I miss about Salt Lake it is definately cafe rio and New York does not know Mexican food. It is sad. I am going to make this asap.