Jul 10, 2011

Cafe Rio Pork Salad

I'm back! And I brought with me the first of the extra special recipes that I promised you (along with a sunburn, dirty feet, and tired kids who miss their Grandma)!

There are few things in this world that I love to do more than cooking for other people. One of those might be cooking for myself. Maybe. But when I cook for other people, I'm usually also cooking for myself. Double win! And this recipe definitely makes enough for you, other people, and more other people.

A few notes about this recipe before I begin...

This recipe is actually 5 recipes in one, so it's quite a process. I usually only make it if we are serving an army. We had 16 people to feed so I doubled the beans and rice recipes, but kept the meat and dressing the same. We ended up with just enough beans, not enough ranch, and more than enough rice and pork. I'm not sure there is a perfect way to make just the right amount of each part, because it all depends on how each person dishes up their own plate.

I serve this on the uncooked tortillas you can buy in the refrigerator section at Costco... except I cook them first! Even though it adds one more step to this already tedious recipe, the time is well worth the end result. It makes me feel a little bit Mexican - you know, cooking up my own tortillas. Sometimes I might even break out my Spanglish whilst cooking said tortillas. And sometimes I like to use words like "whilst" and "said."

Here's the recipe:

Cafe Rio Pork Salad

4 lbs Pork Roast (can substitute chicken)
3 cups salsa (I used a combo of medium and mild)
1 cup brown sugar

Place pork in crock pot. Cover with brown sugar and salsa. Cook on low ten hours. Shred pork with a fork and mix into sauce.

1 - 16 oz bottle of Ranch dressing
2 tomatillos
1 clove of garlic
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 jalepeno pepper(I omitted this because I didn't want any complaints. We like it spicy, but when cooking for a crowd it is a lot easier to throw hot sauce on after than to cool it down.)

Combine all in blender and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cilantro-Lime Rice
1 cup uncooked rice
1 teaspoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, lime peel, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice just before serving.

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.

Pico de Gallo
1 medium onion, diced
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
3 green onions, sliced in 1/4" slices
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 jalepeno, diced small(again, I omitted for the weaklings)

Combine all ingredients and let rest in refrigerator until ready to serve.

You will also need

Approx 24 tortillas
2 medium heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
Tortilla chips
Sliced avocados or guacamole

Place a warm tortilla in a bowl. Layer on(in this order) rice, beans, pork, lettuce, Pico de Gallo, avocado/guac, crushed tortilla chips, and dressing. Devour. Rinse and repeat.

If you're just cooking for a small crowd, don't bother halving the recipe, just use the leftovers for burritos or enchiladas. I bet the pork would even be fantastic served on a nice warm roll.


Whitney Hemsath said...

Yummy! I would love to make it but Dustin wouldn't let me put cilantro in it, and i don't think it'd be that great without it. But I'm drooling in my head thinking of it!

Amy said...

This looks delish! I've never used tomatillos before. How do you prepare them to go in the dressing? Don't they have a husk?

Megan said...

Yep they have a husk. You just yank it off, rinse them a little(they'll be a little sticky), and throw the whole thing in the blender.

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