Monday, October 18, 2010

You need this.

Ok so, I just wanted to let you all know that we like to try out A LOT of recipes. Many of them are delicious. But not all of them turn out that great. For example, last week we tried a really decadent looking recipe for French toast, and…well it was REALLY decadent. “Sugar casserole” as I called it. So, before you all go thinking that we are “good cooks” – there are plenty of times things don’t turn out so good.

But the things that turn out incredibly good end up on our blog. So that should motivate you to try out the things we’ve tried.

Like yesterdays dinner:

salad

Ok, really bad picture (See, not even all the pictures I take get all the glory) but surely, surely, you must know what this is…

ok I’ll give you a hint.

cafe_rio.png

I know some of you snobs out there have access to a restaurant nearby, but for us out here in the Midwest, we are forced to be creative. (Not that I mind living in Chicago where some of the best restaurants in the world reside). Ahem. Let me share with you how we made our very own HOME-MADE Cafe Rio Pork Salads!

PORK BARBACOA. This is pretty easy, but takes some time in the slow cooker. I have found several blogs who have figured out this recipe for me, but this one seems to be what works best for us:

2 pounds pork roast

12 oz. Dr. Pepper 
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced

adobo sauce  from 7 oz. can chipotle chilies

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 8 hours.   After 8 hours, drain pork, then add remaining ingredients and cook on low for another few hours. Shred the pork once it's done.

 

Ok, now for the Tomatillo dressing! Do not skip this part, it is definitely the best part of the salad for me. We like to add a bit more lime, because we’re just like that.

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

blend it all together in the blender until smooth. Super easy.

 

EASY PICO DE GALLO:

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 judgement)
salt and pepper

 

CILANTRO-LIME RICE (Ok so I cheated again, and didn’t even make rice – I never usually order it in my salad anyways. Still, this is the real deal, so here’s the recipe for your convenience):
1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 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 and mix in as you fluff the rice.

 

TORTILLA STRIPS

10-12 corn tortillas
oil for frying
Kosher salt


Cut tortillas into strips using a pizza cutter. You can cut 2-3 at a time pretty easily. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Place strips into hot oil and fry until they become crispy. When nice and crispy, remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt after each batch.

 

Order of assembly!

1. Tortilla – with perhaps some melted cheese – I buy refrigerated uncooked tortillas at costco, and prepare as instructed.  (You can be all over-achiever like and make them on your own. If you’re like me, you’ll want as many good cheats as you can find.)

2. Beans – Straight from a can – black or pinto. I just zap them in the microwave with some garlic powder and chopped cilantro and green tobasco.

3. Rice – if you want.

4. Pork – so delicious.

5. Lettuce – thinly shredded Romaine, you want small enough pieces to get a little of everything on your fork

6. Pico de gallo – a big ole spoonful.

7. Guacamole – they scoop in on like ice-cream at the restaurant.

8. Tortilla  strips – These are the best!

9. Creamy Tomatillo Dressing – I like to keep mine on the side so my lettuce doesn’t get too slobbery.

 

ENJOY THE FOOD OF THE HEAVENS

2 comments:

Jess Hammond said...

So I wonder how the dressing would fare if you (or I), or someone were to roast the garlic and tomatillos first. I have made the dressing and love it just the way it is..... but just think.... what would it be like...????

Betsy said...

You pose a very interesting question indeed.....oh goodness...now I have to do it.