The Cooler Kitchen: An All-American (and Part-Mexican) 4th of July

Barb and I are invited to attend a friend's 4th of July cookout in the Chicago 'burbs. It's a pot luck, so what to bring for this most-American of all holidays?

Well, for any of you who have been kind enough to check out the Cooler on the Lake Shore blog, one of the answers is easy. Yes, it's cobbler time again! And this one is pretty completely over the top, containing a fairly high percentage of the fruits we grow here in the good old U.S. of A. There are blueberries. Raspberries. Sweet cherries. A peach. All grown in Michigan, all purchased at Chicago's Green City farmers' market.

Yay to those fruited plains!

You know you want to see what this looks like.

Red white and blue cobbler July 4 2012

If you would like the basic (and fool-proof) recipe to something some friends have told me looks like a deep-dish fruit pizza, it's here in this previous post. By the way, the spirits that went into the syrup for this cobbler were a combination of bourbon and rum. Because I've been wanting to see how rum works in this recipe. And, yes, because I ran out of bourbon.

It was almost mandatory that I make a cobbler for the party, because I've been bragging on them so much but none of the previous ones has gotten past me and Barb. But there are people with wheat-gluten issues, so I thought it would be rude not to bring something they can enjoy too. Hence, a pork roast... but one with a Mexican twist.

Mexican pork roast July 4 2012

This recipe for Lomo de Puerco Asado is borrowed from The Lodge Cast iron Cookbook. The boneless pork loin roast is marinated overnight (at least 12 hours) in olive oil, fresh lime juice, fresh oregano, red pepper flakes, ground cumin, salt, black pepper, and fresh garlic cloves. It is then browned on all sides on the stove top over medium-high heat, and then placed in a 350-degree oven for about 45 to 60 minutes, depending on size (this one was 2.25 pounds and was done in about 45 minutes).

I'll let you know how this all tastes.

And if you happen to be following my new adventure in bacon curing, here's what it looks like on Day 2 (of 7). It is starting to look amazingly like... bacon.

Bacon curing day 2

Hope you are having a wonderful (and very, very safe) holiday!

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