Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sweet Pork Salad

I've received several requests for this one. And by several I mean about 6 requests each from the same 3 people, haha. It is SOOOO good. I do not credit the recipe for the rice, dressing, or black bean goodness. The pork, pico de gallo, and guac are all my fixes which may or may not be different from how other people make it. The rest of this I got from my sister-in-law Maren who got it from HER sister...who got it from????

If you know where this comes from, I would love to give credit where due.

This salad is a copy cat of Cafe Rio and Costa Vida's. IF YOU LIVE NEAR ONE, TRY IT. My mouth is watering just thinkin' about it!

Don't be intimidated by this recipe. There are a lot of little parts, but after you make it a time or two, you get the timing down and can do lots of it ahead of time. It's very simple and there is some room for interpretation. This is probably my favorite homemade meal of all times.


3 lbs pork loin. I find the leanest pork roast they have. Size is approximate, you can add or take away ingredients depending on size of roast and taste.

Put roast in crock pot with about an inch of water, with the following ingredients mixed in the water. Spoon the seasoned water over the pork roast.

1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dry ground mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Cook 4-6 hours or until cooked through. Dump out the seasoned water. Replace with a can of Dr. Pepper soda and about 2-3 cups of brown sugar. Make it a thin sludge (sludge is not an appetizing word, but this will be GOOD!) Shred roast and return to crockpot. Cook on low until ready to eat. The longer you can simmer it, the better it is.

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp butter
2 cloves minced garlic (1 tsp)
1 tsp lime zest
1 can chicken broth
1 1/4 c. water

Put above ingredients into medium pan and boil covered until the rice is cooked. Just before serving, add

2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp chopped cilantro.

Toss, and serve.


1 can black beans, rinse, drain, repeat.
1 small can of tomato juice (or use between 3/4 to 1 cup, to your desires sauciness)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

Mix the above in a saucepan, cook until heated. Serve.

DRESSING-Don't you dare serve this meal without this!

1 envelope hidden valley ranch dressing
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. milk
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 fresh tomatillos
1 serrano pepper (if you don't like it as spicy, add this in little bits until it's the right spicy level for you)

Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and delicious.

2 medium tomatoes, diced pretty
1/2 small onion (red, white, yellow...whatever) diced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 good squeaze of a lime
1/2 tsp salt
dash of cayenne pepper

Mix, enjoy.

2 ripe avocados
2 Tbsp of the pico de gallo
Another pinch of lime

Mash up avocados, add pico, mix, enjoy.

Now for the assembly!

The tortillas make a big difference. In WalMart, they sell these by the cream cheese and pilsbury bread canisters in the cold isle. They are ready-made tortillas. You throw them onto the skillet and heat them on both sides. So fresh. Make it taste so good. The one's I've found look like this:

Take fresh tortilla and place on a large plate or bowl. Add rice, pork, and beans as recipe'd above. Load with lots of chopped romaine, top with pico de gallo and guacamole and a bit of shredded cheddar cheese. Crush tortilla chips over the top, serve with dressing.

I made this a while ago and now I'm really wishing I had the stuff in stock to make it again...I feel a craving coming on....


  1. My mouth is watering...literally. Why don't you live closer so I can "sample" all of your recipes and then write professional rave reviews...? Just an idea...let me know, k? ;)

  2. YAY! Thank you for finally appeasing us 3 people who asked you 6 times to put this up!

  3. P.S. Costco also has the raw tortillas that cook so fast, easy, and are sooooooo good. So for any of you that have one nearby, check Costco.

  4. I have made this before and it tasted almost exactly the same as Costa, which is our favorite place to eat. the difference I noticed in my recipe is that I use Coke and not Dr. Pepper for the pork marinade. I wonder if it taste the same in the end? I heard that the restaurant actually uses coke. If you check out my blog I posted the recipe I found a few months ago, if you are interested in seeing a different way to make it.