Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cafe Rio Dressing

People around here go crazy over Cafe Rio. I am not a huge fan of their "candy" meat and the lack of flavor and spice. However, I have to admit their salad dressing is amazing! In our church cookbook, there are three different recipes all claiming to be "Cafe Rio", so I thought I would try them out and see which one I liked the best. The best part about this is I do not have to actually go to Cafe Rio, and I can tweak it a bit a raise the level of spiciness.

This first recipes claims it is the "closest knock off". I don't know if it is the closest knock off, but I do know I love it. I don't know if the other two recipes will be as good. my favorite thing to do with the dressing is make vegies wraps. I fill a flour tortilla with lettuce, chopped broccoli, avocado, and cucumber with the dressing on top. I have also used it on taco salads! Trent and I also dipped egg rolls in it.

Cafe Rio Dressing

1 pkg buttermilk ranch dressing mix-make as per recipe (you can just use the regular ranch dressing mix and make it with buttermilk** too)
3 tomatillos*, peeled and quartered
1 c cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of one lime (or about 2 tbsp)
1 jalapeno (I included the seeds in mine to make in spicy, oh and it is soooo good).

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. It is important you use a food processor because the blender makes the dressing very runny. In the food processor it is nice and thick. Refrigerate.

*You can find tomatillos right next to the jalapenos in the produce section. They look a little like green tomatoes with a green paper like shell around it.
** I never buy buttermilk because it is so easy to make your own! Just take 1 cup of milk (whole is preferred but not necessary) and  either 1 and 3/4 Tablespoons cream of tartar or 1 tbsp white vinegar or 1 tbsp lemon juice.


  1. Mmmm, it would probably be really good in pita sandwiches too!

    I found a recipe for the Barbacoa pork that I really like, it's still sweet but there's a lot of spice to it so it kinda balances out the sweetness of it. Here's the link if you're intrested

  2. Ooh, I'm so glad you're trying all of them...I want to, but know I never will :) Although I have tried #2 and I think I like it better than mine! Oh, and there are actually FOUR dressing is included with the salad recipe. So, I guess I'll let you try all 4, and then whichever is your favorite I will use the next time I make it :)