café rio -ish creamy tomatillo dressing – paleo style
We started enjoying the amazing food of Café Rio back in the day when there was only 2 in the entire state of Utah, let alone anywhere else in the US!! I think they are now in 11 states, with multiple locations in each state, they have come a long way!! Café Rio opened their first restaurant down in lovely St. George, Utah and their second location was right here in Provo! This was back in like 1999…ya, nearly 17 years ago. We ate there…a lot!!! Enjoying many of their tasty menu items. Their tamales on Thursdays…oh my! Probably the biggest thing that I miss eating there hands down! Luckily since heading down the Paleo road 2 years ago, we do still eat there almost weekly, cause their salads are legendary & HUGE! We simply order them now without the rice or beans and don’t eat the huge flour tortilla they are served in.
Years ago, on one of my visits there for lunch with friends, I was standing in line to order and since they have an open kitchen, I saw them make their famous house dressing! Affectionately known as “Creamy Tomatillo Ranch” I believe, or something like that. Seriously though, I couldn’t believe the worker was mixing it up for all to see…er’ maybe I was the only one watching? Anyways, damage done, I simply started recreating it at home and have been for many years. Now, once we starting eating “real” food, making it the way I used to was out of the question, cause there are some pretty “un-real” things that went into making it the original way.
So, I figured I had to be able to make it using real ingredients and make it taste just as good, if not better. Took a few attempts, but I really feel like I’ve nailed it! And yes, it’s better tasting and not to mention better for you! Kicker, not one family member knew I had made it completely Paleo until I mentioned it and literally blew them away.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!
4-6 tomatillos, husked, washed and roughly chopped
½ c homemade mayo using Chosen Foods Avocado Oil (make this one by nomnompaleo!)
½ c full fat coconut milk
½ ripe avocado, roughly chopped
handful of cilantro tops
juice of 2 limes (more if ya like it really tangy)
2 T water
1 T lemon juice
½ t salt
pepper to taste
½ jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped (optional)
¼ t chipotle chili powder (optional)
- After husking the tomatillos, be sure to rinse them off well, they have a sticky coating that should come right off under running water.
- After roughly chopping the tomatillos, toss them in the blender first and then add the reaming ingredients and whirl away till everything is pureed.
- Taste and adjust salt and lime juice as you prefer.
- The chipotle chili powder and jalapeño give it a nice smokey heat, but if you prefer a tamer version, simply omit them.