Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cafe Rio Pork Salad

Any Cafe Rio fans out there? I love it and crave their salads. I was pretty disappointed to find that there aren't any here in Washington. My friend Eryn was nice enough to give me this recipe, which is supposed to be the actual pork salad recipe. The dressing is delicious. Make it tonight. [The picture above is actually not of this exact recipe, but of a similar chicken taco salad. I was so excited about the salad, I forgot to take a picture. I will replace this one when I make it again.]

About 1 1/2 lbs. Pork tenderloin (you can also use chicken if you prefer)
1 cup salsa
1-1 1/2 cups brown sugar
Cook in crock pot about 5 hours on low, cut fat off and shred.

Creamy Cilantro dressing:
Put the following in a blender and blend until smooth:
3 fresh tomatillos quartered
1 package Ranch buttermilk dressing mix (or regular Ranch mix if you can't find buttermilk)
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup buttermilk (or put 1 Tbsp of lemon juice in 1/2 cup of regular milk and let it sit for a minute before adding it to the other ingredients)
1 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 a jalapeno or Serrano pepper, no seeds

(If you have extra dressing, you can put it in a ziplock and freeze it for next time.)

Pico de Gallo recipe:
6-8 small tomatoes diced up
1 small onion diced up or half a medium onion
1 small jalapeno chopped as small as possible,
no seeds, start with half and add the second half after you've
tasted the salsa for hotness.
about 12 sprigs of cilantro chopped up finely
about a 1/2 tsp. salt
juice from 1/4 a lime or more
1 clove garlic minced (or about 1 tsp. if using minced garlic from a jar)
juice from half a lime. or about 2 -3 tsp.

Put everything together and taste to see if you need to add more of anything.

Mash up the following:
2 ripe avocados
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp. Tabasco or 1-2 Tbsp. salsa

While you're making everything, cook up some rice.

To serve, pile on a plate in the following order:
Romaine lettuce
beans and rice
a scoop of pico de gallo
a scoop of guacamole
crumbled tortilla chips

You can also serve these as burritos instead of a salad.

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