Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Week 2, Day 2: Cafe Rio Pork Burritos, Spanish Rice, and Frijoles Negros Refritos

Special disclaimer for tonight's dinner: I wasn't going for recreating the Cafe Rio experience tonight. I will do that on Friday when we make the Cafe Rio Pork Salad, but even then, remember that it's probably been over a year (or even two!) since I've been to Cafe Rio, so it's just not going to be the same since I can't even remember exactly what it's like.
Another recipe from Melissa Yoder tonight. (I'm trying to link to the original recipe on her blog, but I'm having trouble because Blogger is very slow and temperamental tonight. I just keep reminding myself that Blogger is free, so I shouldn't complain.)

Cafe Rio Pork

5-6 lb pork roast (I did a 3 lb roast)
1 tbsp cumin
1 cup brown sugar
20 oz bottle Coke or Sprite (I used a generic Sprite)
12 oz bottle red taco sauce

Place roast in crock pot. Combine taco sauce, soda, brown sugar, and cumin. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 18 hours. Take out roast and shred; add back to liquid. Serve on tortillas. (This makes a LOT. Freeze the extra.)

I had all kinds of trouble with this recipe. I halved everything to start, but after about 9 hours, the liquid was quickly disappearing, so I added more. And then at 18 hours, the meat was so dry. I added more again. So in the end, I halved the size of the roast, but nothing else.

Spanish Rice
canola oil
1 cup rice
1/4 of an onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (I would mince next time)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1-2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Put about 3 tablespoons of oil in a hot skillet. Add onions, garlic and rice. Stir until most of the rice is browned. Lower the heat and add tomato sauce and 1 1/2 cups broth. Bring to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let simmer on low until water is gone. If rice appears dry before it is fully cooked, add a little broth at a time until rice is done--about 20 minutes. (High altitude needs to cook for 30-40 minutes. Unless you like crunchy rice.)

Frijoles Negros Refritos (Refried Black Beans)

1 15oz can black beans (undrained)
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp canola oil

Heat skillet on med-high heat. Add canola oil and garlic--let garlic cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add entire can of beans, including liquid. Mash to desired consistency while in the pan with a potato masher. Serve while hot.

*These thicken up as they cool and gradually turn rather gloppy and unappetizing, so eat them while they're fresh and hot. You can add a little water back into them if you do need to reheat the leftovers.

The Verdict: 3 thumbs up, 2 thumbs medium. The big hit was the Spanish rice since I've been trying to make a good version of that for years, and had given up to Rice-a-Roni. The pork . . . not a huge favorite. But the rice and beans redeemed the dinner. Here's our most satisfied diner:

4 comments:

Shelli said...

Looks good, Rachel. Was the rice spicy? It didn't seem to have any ingredients to make it "spanish". If it's not spicy maybe my kids would like it too!

Rachelle (Rowley) Miller said...

I use a different recipe for the Cafe Rio Pork. The cooking time is much faster.

Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa

Pork Roast: Put it in a crock pot with a little water (about 1/2 cup) and cook until very tender (about 8 hours on low).

Shred pork and add:
1 can enchilada sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small can diced green chilies
1 can Caffeine free Pepsi
1 cup brown sugar
salt to taste

Cook for one more hour.

Crafty P said...

YOu know, when you mentioned this recipe, I recalled saving something in my google notebook. Found it, see if this helps at all.

I have never been to Cafe Rio, but it sounds like a popular place out west!
http://angieasplund.blogspot.com/2008/12/cafe-rio.html

Rachel said...

Thanks for the extra recipes, girls! It seems like everyone has their own version of Cafe Rio pork ;)

Shelli, no the rice wasn't spicy. I could have upped the spicy, but it worked for our family, too.