Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

I don't know which restaurant started it all, but we all know them and we all crave them. Whether it comes in the form of Costa Vida, Cafe Rio, Bajio, Chipotle, Rubios, Baja Fresh, Barbacoa, etc.

Basically, what you need is some great shredded Mexican-style meat, yummy rice, beans, tortillas, cheese, and other fixins' and you have the makings of Mexican taco salads, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, etc.

You know what I hate? I hate when you have a favorite dish--something you absolutely crave--at a restaurant and then the restaurant either goes out of business or they stop making your favorite dish. They should have blowout sales when restaurants go out of business and they should sell their recipes for $5 apiece. I know I would totally buy the recipes that I loved. Wouldn't you? Besides, it would be a nice way for them to recoup some of their losses before they closed their doors forever. When I first tasted the salads at Cafe Rio, I was panicked that this would happen to me again and that I would lose their salads forever. I knew that I would crave those salads for the rest of my life!

Luckily, thanks to my sister-in-law, she introduced me to the wonders of slow cooker Mexican sweet pork! She also shared with me the fact that you can find many copy cat recipes for these Cafe Rio/Costa Vida-style salads online. And do you know what? It tastes pretty darn close to what you can get in the restaurant.

Now, I will continue to go to the restaurants as long as they are in operation (because it is a lot faster and cheaper to have them make it for you than to make it for yourself). But if you are having a large gathering or want a lot of leftovers (or in the sad possibility of these restaurants going out of business someday...though I hope not!), then you can make it yourself at home!

Oh, and the meat, beans, and rice make super yummy leftovers (especially nice for easy quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, or tostadas--have you ever noticed how most Mexican food has the same ingredients, just packaged differently?).

Finally, I would love it if my sister would share her Mango Tres Leches cake recipe that she made a few years ago for a Cinco de Mayo celebration we had.

Also, I'm sharing a to die for Tres Leches Cake recipe that my Mom found. It is so so good.

Enjoy and don't eat too much!

Cafe Rio Dinner Party Pointers:
If you don't have two slow cookers (to make chicken, beef, and pork at the same time), make one or more kinds of meat a day or two before and reheat it in a regular pot on the stove top the day of your party.
If you double the pork, don't forget to double the sauce.
There are raw/uncooked tortillas (in packs of 12) in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the shredded cheese. They are a little more expensive than regular tortillas, but they are soooo yummy. Simply brown them in a frying pan to cook them. Seriously, to make these salads just like the restaurant versions, you either need homemade flour tortillas or the store-bought raw/uncooked tortillas. It is what really makes the salad great.
If you don’t have time, don't go to all the bother of making the cilantro rice recipe. Just get a package of Spanish or Mexican rice at the store (4 packages for a large crowd--at about $1 each). I used Rice-a-Roni and it tasted great.
Again, if you don’t have time, don't go to all the bother of making the black beans recipe either. Just get canned black beans and heat them up (don't get the Kroger brand though, because they stick to the bottom of the can and they pack them in so tight that they don't come out pretty. It's worth it to pay a little more for a better brand of black beans).

Salad Ingredients:

Tortillas or taco shells
Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Black or Pinto beans
Lime, Sweet, Spanish, or Mexican rice
Shredded pork, beef, or chicken
Romaine lettuce, chopped or shredded
Grated Parmesan cheese
Tortilla strips (these can be found in the produce or bakery section near other salad toppings)
Cilantro springs
Pico de Gallo or salsa
Limes, cut into wedges
Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

Cafe Rio/Costa Vida/Bajio's Recipes
Cafe Rio/Costa Vida Sweet Pork


1 pork roast (3-5 lbs.)
20 oz. Coke (not diet)
1 cup brown sugar
1 bottle taco sauce
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp bottled or fresh minced garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste


Place the pork roast in your slow cooker with about 1/2 cup of water. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for 5 hours.

After the pork has cooked for 5 hours, boil the coke, brown sugar, taco sauce, and cumin over the stove top. Shred the pork and add the sauce to the slow cooker. Let the pork marinate on low between 5-8 hours.

Source: I got this from my sister-in-law, Kristin. I'm not sure where she got it from. But she's the one who started it all! At least for me!

Notes: In order to simplify things, I skip a step. I mix the coke, brown sugar, taco sauce, sallt and pepper, garlic, and cumin. I place the pork roast in the slow cooker and pour the coke mixture over all. I cook the pork on low until it is tender enough to shred. Then I shred it and continue to let it marinate in the coke mixture until it is ready to be served.

Just Like Cafe Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing/Creamy Tomatillo Dressing


1 packet traditional Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not buttermilk)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
2 tomatillos, husks removed, cut into quarters
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, roughly cohpped
Juice of 1 lime (1-2 tbsp bottled, if fresh is not available)
1 jalapeno (remove seeds for less heat, keep seeds if you like things spicy)


Place all ingredients together in a blender. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source: I found this online a few years ago on a blog very much like my own. I don't remember the particular site, however.

Notes: This dressing is so spot on. It tastes almost exactly like what you get in the restaurant. Be careful though. This makes a lot, and as you can see, it's not low fat!

Southwest Salad Dressing


6 tbsp reduced calorie mayo
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp water
1 medium scallion (green onion), minced
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp chili powder


Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Serve over your favorite Mexican salad.

Source: I got this from a friend years ago. I'm not sure where she got it from though.

Notes: This is a simple and easy dressing to put together (especially if you don't have all of the ingredients for the creamy tomatillo dressing on hand). This is great served with the Bajio chicken recipe below. You can also serve it over a salad topped with Mexican salad ingredients such as black beans, corn, grape tomatoes, romaine lettuce, red pepper, and additional cilantro.

Kinda Like Cafe Rio Chicken


1 (8 oz.) bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tbsp Cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 lbs chicken breasts


Place the chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Pour the dressing over the top of the chicken. Add the chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Cook on low for 6-7 hours (high for 4-5 hours), shred meat and then cook an additional hour. Serve with tortillas, shredded cheese, and whatever garnishes you like.

Source: I found this on a blog--but I can't remember which blog!

Cafe Rio Beef


1 (3 lb) beef roast
1 can green chile sauce
1 can beef broth
1 small can tomato sauce
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced


Place chuck roast in a slow cooker. Pour green chile sauce, beef broth, and tomato sauce over the top. Add cumin and garlic. Cut an onion in half and place full onion rings over the top of the roast to add flavor. The onions will be removed and discarded when the roast is cooked. Cook on low for 8-9 hours or until the meat shreds easily.

Source: Darn it, this was again found on a blog that I now don't remember the name to.

Lime Rice


2 tbsp butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 2/3 cup water
8 tsp chicken bouillon (or 3-5 cubes chicken bouillon)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 small cans diced green chiles (4 oz)
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups rice


Saute butter, onion, and garlic in a saucepan. In a large pot, bring the water, bouillon, cilantro, cumin, green chiles, lime juice, lime zest, sugar, pepper, and rice to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, stir in the onion and garlic mixture. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes (or until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and it is tender).

Source: Again, I found this on a blog but I can no longer remember which one.

Cafe Rio Sweet Rice

1/2 - 1 tbsp oil
1 1/3 cup white rice
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 cup chicken broth
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/4 - 1/2 cup white sugar
Drizzle oil in bottom of fry pan. Saute chopped onion until translucent. Add the chopped cilantro (no big stems) and saute a minute more. Add the rice cooking until it is light brown (being careful not to burn). Combine the chicken broth and the sugar, letting sugar dissolve. Then stir into rice until combined. Bring to a boil. Cover and let cook on low, until rice is done, about 25-30 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving.

Source: This was given to my Mom by her friend, Karrie. She probably found it on a blog online somewhere!

Black Beans


1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 cup tomato juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro


In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until it is fragrant. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro.

Source: Another unknown blog!



3 avocados--peeled, pitted, and mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)


In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.

Source:, submitted by Bob Cody.

Sarah's Shortcut Guacamole


4-6 avocados
Garlic salt, to taste
Onion powder, to taste
Ground cayenne pepper, to taste
Ground cumin, to taste
Lime juice, to taste
Bree's Blender Salsa, Pico de Gallo, or favorite store-bought salsa or Pico de Gallo


Mash avocados with a fork. Stir in garlic salt, onion powder, ground cayenne pepper, ground cumin, and lime juice until well blended. Fold in salsa or Pico de Gallo.

Source: Me.

Notes: Sometimes you just don't feel like following a recipe. These are the basic flavors required to make a yummy guacamole. Just add as much or as little to suit your tastes. I like adding in a prepared salsa rather than just cut up tomatoes because it skips a step--you get all of the flavors and ingredients of the salsa (onions, cilantro, jalapeno, etc.) without having to add those ingredients separately to your guacamole.

Pico de Gallo


4 fresh tomatoes, diced
1 white onion, chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Combine all ingredients and mix together. Refrigerate.

Source: Good golly, I have no idea!

Bree's Blender Salsa


1 bunch of cilantro
2 jalapenos
1/2 of a large white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch of green onions
1/2 tbsp salt
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz)
2 cans crushed tomatoes (14 oz each)


In blender:

Add 1/4 of the white onion, jalapenos (keep seeds from at least half of one or to taste), a few leaves of cilantro, salt, garlic, and liquid from the can of whole peeled tomatoes. Blend to reduce big pieces.

Add whole peeled tomatoes and lightly blend or pulse for about 4 seconds (be careful not to over-blend--if you like chunkier salsa, reduce the blending time).

In chopper:

Chop bunch of cilantro and 1/4 of the onion.

In mixing bowl:

Pour blender contents into bowl. Add chopped cilantro and onion. Stir in crushed tomatoes. Add cut green onion and stir thoroughly.

Best if left in fridge overnight.

Source: I got this from a gal in my ward (named Bree, if you didn't guess). She gave it out as Christmas gifts. It was sooo yummy and such a nice change from all of the sweets everyone was eating too much of at the time!

Notes: I usually just put everything in the blender and blend as little or as much as needed to get the texture I want. Sometimes I add a can of diced tomatoes to the blended mixture to make it a little chunkier.

Brenda's Blender Salsa


1 can (28 oz) whole, peeled tomatoes
1 small onion, quartered
Garlic salt, to taste
Onion salt or onion powder, to taste
Crushed red chili peppers, to taste
1/2-1 bunch cilantro (to your taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh tomatoes (preferably home-grown, if available), diced


Put all ingredients (except fresh tomatoes) in blender. Blend to desired texture. Pour into a bowl and stir in fresh diced tomatoes.

Source: I got this from a former co-worker (named...Brenda! You guessed it!).

Pineapple Salsa


1 medium ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
2-3 small Serrano peppers, seeded and minced
4 green onions, minced
2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped


Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours prior to serving.

Serving suggestions: serve on chicken or pork as a main entrée, or as an appetizer with chips.

Makes about 4 1/2 cups.

Source: I got this at the Taylorsville, Utah Harmon's grocery store. A few years ago, they had an employee (I'm not sure if they still do this) who was hired to create recipes using their seasonal produce. He would provide samples in addition to a recipe to boost sales of certain produce items. Seriously, wouldn't that be such a fun job? To get paid to create recipes using whatever fresh fruits and/or veggies were in season? He didn't put his name on the recipe card though, so I can't give credit where credit is due.

Pico de Gallo (from Thanksgiving Point Farmer's Market)


¾ lb firm tomatoes, chopped fine
(be creative with the type of tomato you use. You can use yellow, orange or red tomatoes. Check the farmer’s markets in the summer. You can use aurora, banana legs, Cherokee purple, yellow gooseberry, Hawaiian pineapple, Missouri pink love apple, Mr. Stripey, red pear, Snow White, yellow pear, etc. The possibilities are endless!)
1/4 to an 1/8 of an onion, about a wedge (don't use too much), chopped fine
3-4 sprigs of cilantro, large stems removed, minced
One small wedge of lime, peeled. Use pulp. No need to squeeze.
1-4 cloves garlic, fresh, whole, peeled, and minced
Chili (your choice: jalapeno, Serrano, etc.). Start with about 1/2 inch, minced, and add to taste.
Bell pepper, one slice, any color, chopped fine
1/2 tsp salt (or to your taste)


Chop garlic and chili until finely minced. Do this first before adding the other ingredients. Add tomatoes, onion, cilantro, bell pepper, salt, and lime. Mix well.
Makes 16 oz fresh salsa
Source: Thanksgiving Point Farmer's Market.
Notes: I seriously suggest hunting down some of the varieties of tomatoes listed above. It was amazing how a different type of tomato gave such a unique and wonderful flavor to the Pico de Gallo. It was really fun to try all of the different kinds and to branch out from only using the tried and true red tomato.

Bajio's Inspired Salads and Toppings:

Bajio's Chicken Chile Salad (Easy Version)


5 chicken breasts
1/2 cup salsa
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 cup brown sugar (more, to taste, if desired)
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
6 oz Sprite (1/2 can)


Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Return to slow cooker and cook for an additional hour. Thicken the juices with a little cornstarch mixed in water.
Serve with flour tortillas, lettuce, cheese, black beans, and any other desired taco fixings.
If you want it spicier, rather than sweeter, add more diced green chilies.

Source: Found on the blog "Your Homebased Mom." Found here.

Bajio's Chicken Green Chile Salad (Much More In-Depth Version)


2 grilled chicken breasts
1 cup lime juice
1 cup oil
1 cup Green Chile Chutney (recipe follows)
1 cup Caramelized Onions (recipe follows (need 1 white onion and 2 tbsp oil)
2 cups fresh Pico de Gallo
1 cup shredded cheese
8 cups torn, shredded, or chopped lettuce (Romaine or red and green leaf blend)
Cilantro Lime Dressing (recipe found above)


For the chicken:

Marinate chicken breasts in 1 cup of lime juice and 1 cup oil. Let stand for at least two hours in the refrigerator.

On a hot grill, grill the chicken with a splash of balsamic vinegar until done and set aside to rest. Once the chicken has had time to cool, shred it into small pieces.

For the onion:

Slice 1 whole white onion into slices. In a medium saute pan, add 2 tbsp oil and saute the onion until it is translucent.

Once the onions are done, add the shredded chicken and a cup of Green Chile Chutney. Saute all together until well heated.


On individual plates, pile with mixed greens, add a cup of Pico de Gallo. Add the warm chicken mixture and top with cheese and dressing. Serve.

Source: Found on a blog called "Our Recipe Garden." You can find the recipe here.

Bajio's Green Chile Chutney


3 large Annaheim peppers, halved, seeds removed
1-2 jalapeno peppers, halved, seeds removed
4 oz. can diced green chiles
5-7 tomatillos, husks removed
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
Chili powder, to taste
Ground cumin, to taste
Salt, to taste
1 large sweet onion, halved


Place peppers, tomatillos, and onion on baking sheet/rack. Roast in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Place tomatillos and about 1/4 cup onion in blender and process until mostly smooth.

Dice peppers.

Add all ingredients except the remaining onion into a large pot. Cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until thickened and reduced. Add more sugar/peppers to adjust the spiciness/sweetness to taste.

For caramelized onions:

Slice the remaining onion and saute with a little bit of the green chile chutney over medium-low heat until caramelized.

Source: From "Our Recipe Garden." You can find the recipe here.

Mexican Corn Salad


1 (16 oz) package frozen shoepeg white corn, thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsp minced seeded jalapeno pepper (about 1 large)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced, or 2 tsp bottled minced garlic


Combine all ingredients in a bowl; toss well. Cover and chill 8-2 hours. Stir well before serving.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup--112 calories)

Source: Cooking Light Salad cookbook.

Notes: I included this recipe (although it can already be found on our blog in the "Strictly on the Corny Side" post) because Bajio's includes corn and sweet onions on their salads. Yum!

Sweet Onions


1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia)
2-4 tbsp white granulated sugar
1 tbsp butter


Saute onion in butter and sugar until nicely browned and starting to caramelize.

Source: Me.

Notes: I searched online for a copycat recipe of Bajio's sweet onions. I couldn't find anything. So, this is my best guess.

Bajio Sweet Rice


1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 white onion, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1 1/3 cups white rice
3 cups chicken broth
1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar


Heat oil in pan. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent (about 3-5 minutes).

Combine the chicken broth and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Add rice to onion in pan. Saute for about 1 minute. Add chicken broth mixture. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is done. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Source: I don't remember where I got this from.

Cinco de Mayo Sweets


Notes: Horchata is a traditional Latin beverage made from rice softened in water, with cinnamon and sugar. To finely grind the soaked rice, use a blender with sharp blades; it may take several minutes to blend each batch until smooth. You can prepare the drink through step 2 up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill.


2 cups long-grain white rice
1 cup sugar
4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


In a bowl, combine rice and 10 cups water; cover and chill until grains break easily when squeezed, about 24 hours, or up to 2 days.

In a blender, whirl about 2 cups of the rice mixture with sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth; pour into a large bowl or pitcher (at least 3 1/2 qt.). Whirl remaining rice mixture without seasonings, in batches if necessary; add to bowl and stir until well blended with flavored batch. Taste, and add more sugar if desired.

Just before serving, stir mixture (ground rice will have settled to bottom). Fill glasses with ice cubes, then horchata.

Yield: Makes 3 quarts; 10-12 servings.

Nutrition information: 182 calories, 0.2 g fat, 42 g carbohydrates, 1.9 mg dosium, 2.2 g protein, 0.3 g fiber


Tres Leches Cake


8 large eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 can 12 oz. evaporated milk
1 cup milk
1/4 c. Kahlua or strong coffee (Or, you can substitute coffee creamer. See cook's note)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Lightly sweetened softy whipped cream
sliced strawberries


In a large bowl, with a mixer on high speed (use whip attachment if available), beat eggs and sugar until thick and pale yellow, 5 to 6 minutes. In a small bowl, mix flour and baking powder. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add flour mixture in small increments and beat until smooth. Scrape batter into a buttered 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Bake in a 325 degree oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile in a blender, whirl condensed milk, evaporated milk, regular milk, Kahlua, and vanilla until well blended. Pour evenly over hot cake; let cool about 15 minutes, then cover and chill until cake has absorbed all the milk mixture, at least 3 hours, or up to 1 day.

Cut cake into squares or rectangles, lift out with wide spatula, and set on plates. Top each piece of cake with a spoonful of whipped cream and garnish with strawberries.

Cooks note: Since we don't drink coffee, I replaced the Kahlua with coffee creamer. I think I used a hazelnut, vanilla or almond flavor. It was so long ago that I don't remember. But any flavor will do.

Mango Dos Leches Cake


6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whole milk, scalded
12 ounces mango puree
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 mango, diced
Dark rum (or a mixture of water and rum extract, prepared to your taste)
Brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whip the eggs, sugar, and salt until tripled in volume. Fold in the flour. Pour the mixture into a parchment lines 9 by 11 inch baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Remove the parchment paper and return the cake to the pan. With a fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake. Combine the condensed milk with the scalded milk, mango puree, almond and vanilla extracts, and pour over the cake. Allow the cake to soak in the liquid for 2 hours. Serve with diced mango marinated in dark rum and brown sugar.

Slow-Cooker Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls


1 large sweet onion, sliced
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (I used one whole package)
1 boneless pork shoulder (about 3 lbs.)
1 can (10 oz) red enchilada sauce
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, optional (if you want it like the Cafe Rio sweet pork, otherwise, omit)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups hot cooked white or brown rice
2 cups shredded lettuce
Salsa, shredded Mexican cheese blend, and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired


Spray 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place onion in cooker.

Sprinkle taco seasoning mix over pork shoulder, pressing to coat. Place pork in cooker. Top with enchilada sauce.

Cover; cook on High heat setting 5 to 6 hours or until tender. Remove pork from slow cooker; shred meat with fork, discarding fat. Place shredded pork in large bowl. Strain sauce. Add chiles, salt, and 1 cup of the strained sauce. Stir well.

Spoon about 3/4 cup rice into each of 8 individual serving bowls. Top each with about 1/2 cup pork mixture and 1/4 cup lettuce. Garnish with salsa, cheese, and/or cilantro.

Source: Pillsbury website. You can find it here.

Notes: I added the brown sugar because I wanted it to be more like the Cafe Rio sweet pork. I loved that this used taco seasoning, and red enchilada sauce (which I usually have on hand) in place of the coke and taco sauce (which I usually don't have on hand). I thought it was very close. I think the recipe at the top is closer to what you get at Cafe Rio/Costa Vida, but this one is pretty darn close to that! I just like having different options based on what I have in my pantry.

I did not strain the sauce...I kept the shredded pork in all of the sauce. Also, I just added the green chiles and salt at the beginning rather than after the pork had cooked.


  1. Okay, I posted pictures! Yummy dinner. Can't wait for the leftovers!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Yess this is amazing that all the recipes are in one place! Thanks and good work, it looks just like it! :)

  4. Okay, I've fixed the formatting. Laurie, if you get a chance, send me your recipe for Mango Tres Leches cake and I'll add it to this post. It was in one of your Food Network cookbooks (the one that featured each of their hots/cooks).

  5. Thanks, Laura. It is nice to have it all in one place. I hate trying to gather all of the recipes together when I'm making this salad. It's just easier to keep them together!

  6. Okay, Blogger and/or my computer played a DIRTY, DIRTY joke on me and deleted all of the formatting changed that I made two days ago. It was actually kind of heartbreaking because I had added new recipes, fixed the wording, and changed the formatting to match our other posts. And then, somehow, it all just disappeared. I'm not sure how it happened because I had actually even received emails about the updates.

    So, now, hopefully this post is updated to reflect the formatting changes and added recipes. I, to be safe, have saved a copy of this post in Word and emailed a copy to myself as well!

    Yikes! I hope Blogger/my computer never does that to me again. No fun!

  7. Okay, here's proof that Blogger and/or my computer was haunted/possessed. Here are comments that were posted and emailed to me, but that no longer appear on the blog:

    Laura has left a new comment on your post "Cinco de Mayo":

    Yess this is amazing that all the recipes are in one place! Thanks and good work, it looks just like it! :)

    Sarah has left a new comment on your post "Cinco de Mayo":

    Okay, I've fixed the formatting. Laurie, if you get a chance, send me your recipe for Mango Tres Leches cake and I'll add it to this post. It was in one of your Food Network cookbooks (the one that featured each of their hots/cooks).

    Sarah has left a new comment on your post "Cinco de Mayo":

    Thanks, Laura. It is nice to have it all in one place. I hate trying to gather all of the recipes together when I'm making this salad. It's just easier to keep them together!

  8. I added pictures of the Tres Leches Cake. Thanks for making it for my birthday cake this year, Mom!