Cafe Rio opened up in the Streets at Southglenn last year and we’ve yet to pay them a visit. I don’t know much about this Mexican fast food chain, but I do know about their sweet pork barbacoa because everyone makes such a fuss over it. Cafe Rio serves it in and on burritos, enchiladas, tacos, tostadas and salads and we really must stop in to give it a try.
Heather is a new mom to the cutest kids ever, a group fitness instructor and a healthy home cook. Lots of really good recipes to be found in her house. A couple I’ve pinned to make are:
- Crockpot Smothered Colorado Burritos (she slathers them with guacamole and they look wonderful)
- And her Sweet Apricot Chicken. (apricot jam, Catalina dressing and onion soup mix sounds sticky and wonderful)
When I ran across her copycat recipe for Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad there was no reason for me to look any further.
I went into this recipe strictly for the sweet pork experience. Much to my surprise I ended up finding a wonderful salad dressing, Heather’s Creamy Tomatilla Dressing. It’s really incredible with flavor and a keeper for other Mexican-themed salads.
For Heather’s post, she had just received a mold to make corn tortillas salad bowl molds. She made a Mexican salad by placing a layer of refried beans, a healthy portion of the sweet pork, lettuce greens and then drizzled the whole thing with this tasty dressing.
I didn’t have taco shell molds, so I made tostadas. I purchased tostada shells and loaded them up exactly as Heather did in her bowl. But don’t just sit there and look at it, bite into it quickly before all of those wonderful juices from the pork and the dressing break down that shell and it falls apart in your hand.
There was plenty of liquid from the braised meat, so I used it to dip soft corn tortillas, rolled them up with some of the sweet shredded pork, added lots of shredded cheese and baked them into Sweet Pork Enchilada heaven. Don’t forget a drizzle of that creamy Tomatilla Dressing.
Thanks for a great recipe Heather. This one is a keeper.
- 2 pounds pork roast
- 1 can cola (NOT diet)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup diced roasted and peeled Hatch Green Chile
- 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
- 1 15½ ounce can refried beans, heated
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- Tomatoes, fresh and chopped
- 1 avocado, sliced or diced
- Put the pork in a reclosable bag to marinate, pour in half of the can of cola and ½ cup brown sugar. Marinate for 2 hours.
- Drain marinade and put pork, ½ can of cola, water, Hatch chile, enchilada sauce and garlic salt in crock pot on low for about 7-8 hours.
- Remove pork from crockpot and let cool until you can shred the meat.
- To build your tostadas, smear the refried beans onto tostada shells. Top with a generous portion of the shredded sweet pork, add lettuce, tomatoes and avocado. Drizzle with Tomatillo dressing.
For the dressing:
- 1 packet of ranch dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 tomatillos husked and diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- juice from 1 lime
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well blended.
Rio Cafe Sweet Pork Tostada with Creamy Tomatillo Dressing…It’s what’s for Dinner.