If you live in the western U.S. (and now Virginia or Maryland, too!), you’ve probably heard of Cafe Rio. It’s a Mexican food chain with the best darn pork barbacoa and creamy tomatilla salad dressing you ever did eat. Seriously, that dressing is downright drinkable.
My cousin Jamie and her family visited us last week. One night we made fajitas for dinner and Jamie whipped up some of the Cafe Rio dressing. It was mighty fine! Honestly, I can’t remember exactly how Cafe Rio’s dressing tastes, but Jamie says this recipe nails it! I did a google search and there are a bunch of blogs and websites with almost the exact same recipe posted, so I have no idea who the source is. But Jamie and I discussed the recipe and realized that she regularly changes up some of the proportions, so we made it our own. Also, I am changing the amounts because the original recipe makes about 30 ounces of dressing! That is a whole lot of dressing that, quite frankly, is more than our family needs.
This dressing is delicious served over salad or as a sauce topped on tacos, fajitas and burritos. Go crazy!
- Half of a packet of Ranch dressing mix
- ½ cup buttermilk (or ½ tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice + regular milk added to make ½ cup, let sit for five minutes)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 small tomatillos
- 1 clove garlic, cut into a few chunks
- ½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 jalapeno, roughly chopped (leave the seeds for a little more heat - it won't be that hot, don't worry)
- Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender until it's pulverized! Refrigerate to store.
- Dressing will get spicier over time.
- Quick note: You can substitute the ½ packet of ranch, ½ cup buttermilk and ½ cup mayo for 1 cup already prepared Ranch dressing.
- This recipe will make about 15 ounces of the creamy tomatillo dressing.