Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken or Turkey Salad with Lime Cilantro Dressing

For many years, when we visit family, we like to go to a place called "Cafe Rio" which serves fresh made Mexican food that is prepared in front of you! 

I like eating there as I can get "gluten free" options with corn tortillas verses the flour. I also can't eat beans presently so I like that they make it right in front of you so you can tell that only what you want is being put into your meal. 

I especially like their lime-cilantro dressing. I also like that I can get the spicy salsa as I have always enjoyed spicy food so having them make it my way is always nice. 
I have always wanted to learn to make them at home as it is one of my favorite meals but I just haven't taken the time to see what it would take to make it. 

Having the last minute Bunko group at my house forced me into "figure it out" mode as I only had a full day to prepare for it so I figured I had better learn to make it as I had most of the stuff on hand. 
Remember a few months back when I had just had my surgery and the food bank had a huge amount of turkey breast already cooked come in and needed my help to distribute them.... Yep, I got a few in my deep freeze and figured it may work well for these salads.
Basically, you take one of the precooked turkey breasts, put it in just enough water to cover it in the crock pot. Turn it on the slowest cook you can, my cooker has a ten hour mode. Set a timer for 5 hours, about half way, dump most of the water out and fill it up with fresh water as the precooked turkeys have lots of salt. 
If you don't mind it salty, don't rinse it, if you like less salt, drain it and put in fresh water half way before it starts to separate!  

After the ten hours are up, take a few forks or a fork and a knife and start to pull the turkey away from itself shredding it. 

It took me all of 3 minutes to complete as it was really moist and tender. If you need to keep it heated, stir it up regularly so the stuff on top doesn't dry out. When it was whole, it was under the juices, once you shred it, it takes up more space and comes out of the juice. It wasn't a problem as long as I stirred it once an hour while it was staying warm before the dinner. 

As you know from my blog last week, 7 of the 12 women in my bunko group couldn't come for one reason or another and I ended up with LOTS of left overs. This is not a problem as we LOVE left overs and this salad. 

I made little "Cafe Rio" salad kits and froze them so Princess Five could just pull them out if I wasn't around and make herself a salad.

I tried my hand at making the lime-cilantro dressing and it came out great. The one suggestions I have is, that when you add the jalapeño pepper, cut the seeds out and put them in a baggie. You can't tell by looking at a pepper how spicy it will be. 
I put the pepper in without the seeds and it hardly had any flavor so I then dumped the seeds in and it had a good taste but still wasn't spicy. I didn't want it super spicy because I was feeding others but I was planning on adding them after our guests left as we like it spicy but since the pepper wasn't hot, it worked out that I had them to help season it. 

Café Rio Dressing
1.     1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
2.     1 c. mayonnaise.
3.     1 c. buttermilk.
4.     2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced.
5.     1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro.
6.     1 clove garlic.
7.     juice of 1 lime.
8.     1 jalapeno (See my suggestions on the seeds above)
Mix all ingredients together and serve. 

Other than my suggestion on the seeds, follow the instructions and enjoy! 

Here is the Cilantro Rice that goes with the meat and beans. 

Café Rio Rice

Put rice in at 2 to 1 ratio ie. 1 cup rice to 2 cups water
1 tsp chicken stock granules or powder
2 tsp butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 handful cilantro chopped or dried crumpled
2 fresh lime halves (can be added after it is cooked

Put in rice cooker until done.

It was a SUPER meal and I got compliments from the five that attended so it was a good night! We have enjoyed the left overs as well! 

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