Monday, July 16, 2007

Cafe Rio Taco Salad Recipe

I've had a few requests for my Cafe Rio Taco Salad recipe, so here it is...a very good knock-off of the original. I usually will make the dressing and get the chicken started early in the day. Then do the rice and finish the chicken about 1 hour before we're ready to eat, and then the tortillas and black beans right before. Yummm.

Café Rio Dressing
1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (make as per recipe)
2 tomatillos (tomato like vegetable with a husk around them)
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño (Use the seeds too if you like it spicy. You could substitute a few drops of green tobasco for the jalapeno.)
Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate.

Cafe Rio Chicken(not pictured: chicken breasts)

1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
3 cloves garlic—minced
2 lbs chicken breast
Cook all together in a crock pot for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour--this is what the instructions say. I cook my chicken in the crockpot with water and onion for 6-8 hours and then drain the water, shred the chicken with a fork, and add the dressing and spices about 1 hour before we're eating.

Café Rio Rice
6 c water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
4 t garlic –minced
½ bunch cilantro
1 can green chiles—or equivalent fresh
¾ t salt
1 T butter
½ onion
3 c rice (I like to use brown which takes longer to cook but is healthier)

I saute the dry rice and onion in the butter until it is just browned. Then blend cilantro, green chiles and another 1/2 onion together in food processor (with 1 cup of the water for easier blending). Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes or 50 minutes if using brown rice.

Brown both sides of the flour tortillas (we use whole wheat) on a lightly buttered griddle, sprinkling a little cheese to one of the sides after it is browned. It should be slightly crisp.

Serve with the crisp cheesy tortilla on the bottom, then layer the black beans, rice, lettuce, chicken, and dressing.


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