Friday, October 3, 2008

The Best Meal I've Ever Cooked, Ever

In the year and a half I've had this blog, I don't think I've once posted a recipe, but the dinner I made tonight is worthy of broadcasting to the world. Yea, I would verily shout from the mountaintops how fantastic this dinner is. Zack was the only one who rejected it, and that's a pretty successful meal in and of itself. And the fact that it is basically a copy of one of the most successful restaurants in Utah Valley doesn't hurt either. I told Ryan that I plan to make this every week for the rest of my life, and he said he'd like to eat it every week for the rest of his life. If that's not a match made in heaven, I don't know what is.

The recipe is for Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad. The pork is almost achingly sweet, and the other ingredients are so savory that they balance nicely. I didn't make the recipe up; there are thousands of versions all over the internet. But I want to give you the one I made, which I can verify is abso-stinking-lutely delicious. If you haven't eaten at Cafe Rio, and so don't know what it is supposed to taste like, try it anyhow - it's worth it.

Oh, and P.S. - the recipe made a ton, so if you're a local friend and want a taste, come on by tomorrow and try some!

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad
5-6 lb pork roast - I used 2 3-lb roasts that were on sale for $1.49/lb, so whatever you can find should be fine (I've heard this works with beef also)
One large can of red enchilada sauce (24-32 oz or so) I used mild, but that is up to your taste
One can of Dr. Pepper (I grabbed a 20 oz bottle from the refrigerated section)
1 cup brown sugar

Put the pork roast into your crock-pot, mix enchilada sauce, dr. pepper, and brown sugar in a bowl and pour over the roast. It should cover them about halfway up. Cook on low 6 hours or so, until you can shred the meat with two forks. Put the shredded meat and the sauce from the crock-pot into a large skillet. Now is when you taste it and make adjustments to the sauce - I needed to add more brown sugar to make it predominantly sweet, with a spicy aftertaste. Yum! I let it simmer for a little while so the sauce could reduce, but basically, it's done at this point.

4 t. chicken boullion (I threw in one boullion cube)
2 t. minced garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 onion
3/4 t. salt
2 cups white rice
4 cups water

Chop the onion and cilantro fine, throw it all in a pot and cook it like you would regular rice (simmer 20 minutes or so).

Cafe Rio Salad Dressing

1 1/3 cups sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 bunch of cilantro
1 package ranch dressing mix
4 tbsp. salsa verde (green salsa)
2 cloves of garlic
1/8 tsp. Tabasco sauce
juice of one lime

Mix all of these ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Other salad ingredients: black beans, shredded romaine lettuce, tortillas, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, tortilla strips

Here's how you put it together, if you haven't had one before.
Heat your tortilla in a frying pan, 30 seconds on a side. Put tortilla in a bowl, sprinkle some cheese on it. Fill tortilla with a scoop of rice, some black beans, some shredded pork, some lettuce, some pico de gallo. You can also add sour cream, guacamole, and tortilla chips, but you can leave them out if you are calorie conscious. Top with some of the dressing, and mix it all together.

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