Copycat Café Rio Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing

7 05 2012

I know I have talked about this many times but my family and I lived in Utah for about 5 1/2 years. Except for the snow it was a great place to live and there were many things that we loved about Utah. Beautiful mountains, cool summer weather, and lots of family friendly activities to partake in.

One of our favorite places to grab a quick lunch was Café Rio. Not only did we love it my sister would beg us to take her there when she came out to visit. They had an amazing Salad that was placed on top of a fresh made tortilla and served with a Tomatillo Salad dressing. This was my favorite thing and so I was super excited to find a copycat version of the dressing over at Kalyn’s Kitchen. Super simple and even my husband claims that it tastes just like the restaurant version.

Copycat Café Rio Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing

~2 cups prepared Ranch Dressing (you can make your own or just mix up a Hidden Valley packet following the directions on the packet)

~ 1 small bunch cilantro (about 1/2 cup chopped)

~ 2 large or 4 small tomatillos

~ 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

~ 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

~ 1/2 to 1 whole diced jalapeno

1. Prepare the Ranch dressing according to directions on the package or your homemade recipe.

2. Remove large cilantro stems, then wash leaves and dry. Into a blender add tomatillos, garlic, lime juice, jalapeno, cilantro, and ranch dressing. Blend until all ingredients are well combined. Chill dressing for an hour or two before serving.

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Copycat Café Rio Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing

Guacamole Salsa

26 03 2012

This recipe has been floating around pinterest for quite some time now and I have been intrigued by it. After waiting several months for the Mexican packs to come back around I got one and with it I made Easy Blender Salsa which is now a new favorite in my house. We eat a jar of it in a week it seems.

Anyways, I also made this Guacamole Salsa recipe from Frosted bake shop. It was super simple to make and I really liked the flavor of the salsa. It was a bit thicker than most salsa, more like the consistency of Guacamole. Would be great on tacos, burritos, or just with chips. Defiantly a keeper in my house!


Guacamole Salsa

~ 5-7 tomatillos (more if you want it thinner)

~ 1/2 to a whole jalapeno pepper (remove the seeds to make it milder)

~ 1/3 bunch cilantro

~ 1 thick slice of onion

~ 1 garlic clove

~ 1 avocado

~ 1 tsp. salt

~ juice from 1 lime

1. Remove the paper husk from the tomatillos and wash. Cut them into quarters and put in the blender. Next add jalapeno, cilantro, onion, garlic, avocado, salt, and lime juice. Make sure the tomatillos are on the bottom and the avocado is on the top otherwise the avocado will stick to the blade.

2. Blend until the desired constancy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.

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Guacamole Salsa

Chipotle Shredded Pork Enchiladas

12 09 2011

I am a big fan of Enchiladas but don’t always like all the work that goes into them. I loved this recipe because the pork cooked in the crock pot all day and you assemble these more like tostadas instead of enchiladas. Very flavorful and you can make these as hot as you like by adjusting the chipotle peppers.

Chipotle Shredded Pork Enchiladas

Chipotle Shredded Pork Enchiladas

For the Pork

~ 1 (2 lb) pork tenderloin

~ 1 (8 oz.) Dr. Pepper

~ 1 bay leaf


For the Sauce

~ 2 roma tomatoes

~ 4 tomatillos, husked and rinsed

~ 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes

~ 1 (7 oz.) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (use less to reduce spiciness)

~ 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

~ 1/2 large white onion, roughly chopped

~ 2 garlic cloves

~ 1 Tbsp. flour

~ 1/2 cup water

~ 1 Tbsp. olive oil

~ salt, to taste


For the Enchiladas

~ 1/2 cup canola oil

~ 12 to 18 corn tortillas

~ 1/2 large white onion, finely diced

~ 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

~ 1/2 cup sour cream, for topping


1. Place the pork tenderloin and bay leaf in a large slow cooker. Pour the Dr. Pepper over the meat. Cover and cook on low until the pork shreds easily; about 6 to 8 hours. Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the pork to a cutting surface and shred the meat. Cover with foil to keep warm and set aside until ready to assemble the enchiladas.

2. Adjust your oven rack to the top of the oven. Arrange the roma tomatoes and tomatillos in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil the tomatoes until softened, about 20 minutes, turning halfway through. They will shrivel and shrink. Remove any blackened skin and discard.

3. Place the roasted tomatoes and tomatillos in a food processor. Add the diced tomatoes, chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, flour, and water. Process until smooth.

4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until glossy. Pour the tomato puree into the skillet and stir. Season with salt, to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water until desired consistency is reached, making sure to add more salt as needed.

5. In a large skillet, heat the canola oil until hot. Fry the tortillas until softened. Drain on paper towels. Dip on fried tortilla at a time in the pot of red sauce, turning to coat both sides. Place one each on individual serving plates, then layer each with shredded pork shredded cheese, and diced onions. Repeat layers until each serving is stacked two to three tortillas.

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Chipotle Shredded Pork Enchiladas

Enchiladas Verdes

28 03 2011

In one of our Mexican Packs from Bountiful Baskets we got Tomatillos.  My husband and I had never cooked with them and really didn’t know much about them so we went on the hunt to find a recipe to use them in.  Enchiladas Verdes is what we found and it has been a huge hit ever since.


Now for those of you that don’t know what a Tomatillo is it is similar to a tomato but has a paper-like husk around the outside of it.  When they are ripe they can be any number of colors but for most cooking you want a firm green Tomatillo. In Utah a lot of places would serve a Tomatillo salad dressing that was very similar to a ranch and I have also seen people use their Tomatillos to make salsa as well.  For us it was a Verde sauce to go with our chicken enchiladas.


This recipe is pretty simple, you just boil your chicken and Tomatillos and when they are done you shred the chicken and puree the Tomatillos.  That is the simple version but you get a great dish with lots of flavor and heat depending on how spicy you like things.


Enchiladas Verdes

~ 2 chicken breasts, boneless or bone in works

~ 2 cups chicken broth

~ 1/2 white onion

~ 2 clove garlic

~ 2 tsp. salt plus a pinch

~ 1 lb. fresh tomatillos, husks removed

~ 5 Serrano peppers

~ 12 corn tortillas

~ 1/4 cup vegetable oil

~ toppings of your choice queso fresco, onion, cilantro, sour cream

1. In a saucepan combine chicken breast with chicken broth, one quarter onion, a clove of garlic, and 2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and then boil for 20 minutes. Reserve broth, set chicken aside to cool, and discard onion and garlic. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken with your hands.

2. Place tomatillos and Serrano chilies in a pot with water, enough to cover them. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until tomatillos turn a different shade of green (from bright green to a dull army green). Strain tomatillos and chilies, and place in a blender with another quarter piece of onion, 1 clove garlic, and a pinch of salt. Pour in reserved chicken broth so that the liquid just covers the veggies in the blender by about an inch. Blend all ingredients until they are completely pureed. Pour salsa in a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil.

3. Pour oil in a frying pan and allow it to get very hot. Slightly fry tortillas one by one in oil setting each one on a paper towel afterwords to soak some of the oil up. Finally dip each tortilla in low-boiling green salsa until tortillas become soft again. Place on plates.

4. Fill or top each tortilla with shredded chicken and extra green sauce. Top with cheese, onion, cilantro, or sour cream.

* To make this dish hot keep the seeds in your Serrano peppers. To make this dish with less heat remove the seeds and membrane from your Serrano peppers and only add as many Serrano peppers as you wish.

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Enchiladas Verdes

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