I have never eaten at Cafe Rio. I have seen the recipes all over the blog world and have been tempted. I am a fan of Chipotle and I hear Cafe Rio is as good, if not better. Don't get me wrong, I do not put these in the category of "traditional" Mexican food. I wouldn't do that. That's just silly. I do love traditional mexican food but I won't lie, I love Chipotle. So good. I put this in the category of "delicious" food.
One of my goals this year is less dining out and more cooking at home. I am a good cook. It's always a time constraint problem. Always. Well, I've been wanting to try Cafe Rio but I refuse to break my goal (this soon). So... I found recipes on the Chef In Training Blog and said let's do this!
I've been making the cilantro-lime rice for awhile and the recipe on her blog is what I generally make. It was the chicken in my sight that I wanted to devour. Let me say that this recipe kind of turned me off. The ingredients just didn't seem right. However, I forged ahead and I do not regret it. My goodness. The flavor is outstanding and the chicken was so juicy. I devoured it all. Rapidly. I only took a picture of the chicken on the rice but I did make it with black beans, fajita veggies, jalapeno ranch dressing (Litehouse brand), avocado, and put it on a romaine lettuce for a salad. I also used leftovers to make burritos and tacos. I ended up making it AGAIN so I could freeze some.
Next time. I'm going for the pork to try. I can't wait!
Cafe Rio Chicken
2 lbs chicken breasts
1/2 a small bottle of zesty Italian dressing
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 pkt ranch dressing mix (mixed with 1/2 cup of water)
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
Place all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on High 5-6 hours OR on Low 8 hours. Shred with fork and serve in salads, burritos, tacos…etc. You can also double or triple this to make extras for freezing. Then simply thaw and reheat for a fast and delicious meal.
Cilantro Lime Rice
2 Tb. Butter pepper to taste
1 ¼ cup rice (I used long grain)
juice and zest from 1 large or 2 small limes
2 ¼ cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cumin
In a skillet melt butter with rice.Add liquid, and other ingredients.Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is done.
***I put it all in a rice cooker and waited until the rice was done to toss in the lime juice and cilantro. The flavor of cilantro diminishes when cooked***