Monday, March 24, 2008

Cafe Rio a la Matt

Okay so we've held out on you guys for far too long. Well that's not entirely true if you checked out our recipe team's blog you would have had these recipes a long time ago. But since most of you don't follow are every move like you should you haven't had these recipes. So, without much further ado I give you Cafe Rio-lite recipes (with all credit to Matt who first posted them yadayadayada, except for the flour tortilla recipe which is a family trademark (all rights reserved) and my only tie to my ancestral Mexican roots (happily my new found Finnish culinary roots are completely absent from my pallet)).

Monty's Flour Tortillas
3 Cups Flour
1 Tsp (or so) Salt
1 Tsp (or so) Baking Powder
2 Tbsp (golf ball sized) soft butter
1/4 Cup Oil (I prefer olive but some find the taste too strong)
1 Cup Warm Water

Mix the dry ingredients together. Cut in the butter so that it's thoroughly mixed. Add oil and mix well (flour mixture should be a little clumpy at this point). Add water mix thoroughly into dough. Knead thoroughly and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into golf ball size pieces and roll out as thin as desired. Please note that they'll never be perfectly round. Cook on high heat on a cast iron griddle (crepe or other flat pan will work if necessary). Flip when tortilla begins to bubble (10-20 seconds). Remove soon after flipping. Stack on top of each other and cover with towel to keep moist.

I have to admit that while this is loosely based on my great-grandma Alvina's recipe (such a cool name) it was modified by my friend Karla. I find the modifications make it a bit lighter. Also I'm glad that I don't have to cook with lard in this version.

Mexican Chicken
5 lbs chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 sm bottle zesty italian dressing
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced

Mix all ingred together in a large crock pot. Cook on high for 5-7 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Reserve a small amount of juice and pour over shredded chicken. Keep warm.

I love this recipe. It's the only way that Wife and I will eat Mexican Chicken at this point and is absolutely wonderful cooked enchilada style!

Mexican Pork
3.5 lbs pork roast
1 bottle taco sauce (8 oz)
1 T cumin
1 C brown sugar
1 can Coke (not diet)

Cook pork in pot on low for 6 hours (cover roast 1/2 with water. I cooked for a couple of hours on high and switched to low, that made it shred easier; also, when you add the other ingredients, please take out some of the water, leaving only about ½ in. in the bottom of the pot). Add ingred. to pork 3 hours before it is done.

You can also do this with Dr.Pepper instead of Coke if you're feeling daring. I found it a bit too sweet with D.P. but some of you might like it.

in a saucepan, saute:
2 T butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced

In a large pot, bring to a boil the following:
6 2/3 cups water
8 t chicken buillion
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 sm cans diced green chilies
1 T lime juice
1/2 t pepper
3 cups of rice (maybe a half cup more, you'll have to play with it)

This makes a buttload of rice. Just be warned, you will have leftovers.

Pico de Gallo
4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t lime juice
1 t salt1/2 t pepper

1 pkg Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Dressing mix
1 C buttermilk
1 C Mayo
1 to 2 tomatillos
1/2 to 1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 to 1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 t lime juice
1/2 to 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed!

And now for my new favorite band. I hate having to put you guys through the fickleness of my musical tastes, but I swear this band is one of the best I've heard in ages. Plus this video's just cool. Enjoy Malajube's "Montreal-40 C".


Alissa said...

my tips:

1. don't add water to the pork in the crockpot. just let it cook in it's own juices. it'll be PLENTY moist... adding water actually dries out your meat

2. i don't add taco sauce to the pork, i add a jar of Newman's Own Pineapple Salsa instead. freaking delish.

3. i stick the tomatillo dressing in my blender at the end to make sure it's fully mixed

4. you can totally freeze both the meat and lime rice for later. I've done this when I made a ton for something and ended up not needing all of it. They both thaw fabulously and then you have instant deliciousness.

5. Matt enjoys Guacamole with this as well.

Astrid said...

I think we'll be having a lot of mexican here for a while. Thanks!

Andrea said...

I'm goingt o try out these recipes at our next gathering. They sound too good to be true!

My brother lives in Buffalo and my boys think it's cool to go to Canada. We'll be making the trek Memorial Day weekend.

Roy @ CNM said...

You know, this is great and all, but until Cafe Rio expands nationally, I'll be disappointed. And we have great Mexican food here. Cafe Rio's good eats.

dastew said...

and yet how much coaxing did it take for us to get you to eat there Dave? Ah memories. You guys should move to NY.

Karyn said...

I've had those recipes for a while...but to me it's not worth all the work since I can go get it anytime. I will definitely treasure them for any future moves away from UT. Sorry for your lack of decent mexican food out there. I have laughed at the Facebook Cafe Rio groups you've been joining.

Let us know details on the UT trip when you finalize.

Jon & Chelle said...

Thanks for the recipes, but I'll probably just drive down the street and get Cafe Rio whenever I please. If only I could get Paesan's too. MMM Paesan's.

John, Megan and girls said...

When I make the pork, I use leftover pork roast, then cook it in a small pot on the stove and add hickory smoked barbecue sauce, honey, and real maple syrup, I let it just sit on medium heat and it cooks it all together, softens the meat so it just pulls apart. With the ready cooked meat, it only takes about a half hour or so. And it tastes fantastic. I prefer the cilantro vinaigrette.
I take about a half a bunch of cilantro and throw it in the food processor. I add a bit of rice vinegar (sometimes I use white wine vinegar) then some canola oil, a few squirts of lime juice, and some Karo syrup. All to taste. It makes a great dressing and goes really well with the pork I make.

Jenny said...

Dude.... you know that I totally gave Matt & Alissa this recipe right.