When I first came to Manhattan, KS to visit my sister in the 90s, we always went to Coco Bolo's at least once before we left. When I moved here to attend Kansas State University, Coco Bolo's became a regular spot for me as well. Their Coco's Q, amazing salads, wraps, pizza, and well, their entire menu always sounded good.
Living in Manhattan, KS we are fortunate to have some amazing restaurants, but sometimes no matter how much we love them, things change. Those restaurants that we loved become places we completely miss. One of those for me is Coco Bolos! Going to Coco Bolos was one of my favorite nights out, "spicy music and loud food" was definitely my jam!
Sitting out on the patio relaxing, listing to great music, and hearing the constant conversation of the people around you was just an amazing evening. While you can still get catering from Coco Bolos, popping in for lunch or dinner is no longer an option. Although I am still holding out hope that they will open a physical restaurant again, for now, I am mixing up the best I can at home and making sure I attend every event that they are catering! LOL
Now, I swear, the Jalapeno ranch from Coco Bolo's is one of my favorite dressings EVER! It is a great balance of spicy, with the creaminess of the classic ranch dressing....seriously it goes with everything! My regular order at Coco Bolo's was the Chicken and Shrimp wrap and I would use every drop of Jalapeno Ranch on that wrap! LOL
When Coco Bolo's closed I knew I could not live without the Jalapeno Ranch dressing in my life so I set out on a mission to recreate the recipe as best I could at home. It took many, many, many tries but I finally feel like I got it. I wanted to make sure so I even took samples to a couple of other Bolo's regulars and had them give it a try, with their stamp of approval I knew I was good to go and here we are.
One thing I will say is, does it still feel like something might be missing, yes, but that last ingredient is something I can never recreate and that is the place! There was just something about being at Coco Bolo's, it incorporated so many senses, and unfortunately, there is not an ingredient to replace that! However, every time I am enjoying this it takes me back to so many wonderful nights with friends and family!
One tip with this recipe, since we are using fresh Jalapeno the spice level will vary on season and we like a little heat with our food so if you are not of that mindset, maybe start with two Jalapenos and allow the dressing time to come together in the fridge. After 30-45 minutes, give it a taste and see if the heat level is where you like it, or if you need to add some more kick to it!