Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cafe Rio anyone??

(note: some pictures and recipes are my own; others came from favfamilyrecipes.com and 365daysofcrockpot.blogspot.com)

OK, I'll admit it. If an AA group for Cafe Rio lovers existed, I'd be a member. I just can't get enough of it. Thus began my search for the perfect Cafe Rio "copycat" menu items. Some of the following recipes come pretty dang close, while others are a little different but still taste great. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Cafe Rio Pork
3-5 pound pork roast (or boneless ribs)
18 ounces Coke (not diet)
1 cup brown sugar
1 (7 oz.) can chipotle chilies in Adobo sauce (discard chilies, only use sauce)
1 heaping tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. minced garlic

Place pork roast in bottom of crock pot. Mix all other ingredients together and pour over the roast. Cook on LOW for 7-9 hours, or until it shreds easily. Shred the pork meat 1 hour before the total cook time is up so it can cook in the sauce for the remaining time. Make sense?

Cafe Rio Chicken
5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. Zesty Italian dressing
1 tblsp. chili powder
1 tblsp. cumin
3 tsp. minced garlic

Place chicken in the bottom of a greased crock pot. Mix all other ingredients together and pour of chicken. (If you like lots of sauce you can double the recipe so it covers the chicken). Cook on LOW for 3-5 hours then shred with a fork. Again, shred the meat before the total cooking time is up so it can cook longer in the sauce!

Use the pork or chicken to make tacos, burritos, salads, tostadas, etc....be sure to use the tortillas you can cook in a pan for just a few minutes, NOT pre-cooked ones)

Also serve with the following recipes:

Cafe Rio Lime Rice
2 tblsp. butter
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 tsp. minced garlic
6 2/3 cup water
7 chicken bullion cubes
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. cumin
1 tblsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups long grain rice

Saute butter, onion, and garlic then set aside. Bring all other ingredients, except rice, to a boil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic, then add rice. Cover and simmer until rice is tender.

Cafe Rio Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
1 package Hidden Valley buttermilk ranch dressing
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups mayo
2 tomatillos, remove outer husk
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp. lime juice (or more!)
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed (keep seeds if you like things spicy)

Mix all ingredients in a blender. If you want the dressing thicker, add a bit more mayo. Refrigerate a few hours before serving.

Cafe Rio Pico de Gallo
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Mix all the above ingredients and ENJOY!

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