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Online Exclusive - Posted July 3, 2012 9:53 a.m.
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American Spread

From main dishes and sides to desserts and cocktails, we’ve got your menu for the Fourth all laid out. Just add fireworks

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Whip out the red, white and blue and fire up the grill (or slow cooker) and gather friends and family to celebrate our great country, and its food. From main dishes and sides to desserts and cocktails, we’ve got your menu for the Fourth all laid out. Just add the fireworks.

photos by Shannon Richardson
recipes provided by T and Andy Price, Real Food Café

Floradora Cocktail
1 ½ ounces gin or vodka
½ ounce raspberry syrup, (recipe below)
3 ounces ginger ale
½ ounce lime juice

Build ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a lime slice and fresh raspberries.

Raspberry Syrup
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 cup sugar
½ cup water

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool and strain.

Makes around 1 cup

Edamame Salad with Strawberries and Basil
1 ½ cups shelled edamame, cooked
1 cup strawberries, diced
½ red pepper, diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
¼ cup fresh basil, minced
½ jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of half a lime
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes around 3 ½ cups

Pulled Pork
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cayenne
1 tablespoons dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 bone-in pork shoulder (6 to 8 pounds)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine salt, pepper and other seasoning in a bowl.
Place a large double layer of foil on a baking sheet. Put pork in the center and rub seasoning on all sides. Gather foil around pork and crimp closed tightly.

Roast pork 7 to 8 hours until meat falls off the bone. Remove from oven and let rest 20 to 30 minutes or cook in a slow cooker for 8 to10 hrs on low. Open foil and shred pork with two forks mixing with juices, discarding visible fat and gristle. Serve on toasted buns with coleslaw and favorite barbecue sauce, or serve with black-eyed peas and cornbread.

Makes 14 cups of pork

Texas Burgers
1 ½ pounds grass-fed ground beef (85/15)
Salt and pepper to taste
6 to 8 ounces sharp cheddar
1 cup barbecue sauce
Pickled jalapenos
8 pieces crispy, cooked Applewood smoked bacon
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat oil over medium heat in large sauté pan. Add onions and cook slowly until caramelized, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Gently mix beef with salt and pepper. Shape into four patties. Grill or pan fry 3 to 4 minutes each side, brushing with barbecue sauce. Top with cheese after flipping them. Serve on a toasted sesame seed bun with carmelized onions, jalapenos and bacon.

Makes 4 patties

Roasted Corn with Chili Lime Butter
6 ears corn in husks
1 stick soft butter
2 tablespoons chili powder
Juice of 1 lime

Mix soft butter, chili powder and lime together.

Roast corn in husks in a 350 degree oven or on a grill until hot (about 20 to 30 minutes). Pull back husks and silk, removing both. Toss corn with Chili Lime Butter.

Slow-baked Honeycrisp Apples
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 medium Honeycrisp or Fuji apples (about 1 ¼ pounds total)
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Butter four custard cups or ramekins. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix sugar, ginger, cinnamon and orange peel in a small bowl. Peel apples, halve through stem end, and remove core. Slice apple halves crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Place thin layer of apple slices in each prepared custard cup, overlapping slices; brush lightly with melted butter.

Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon sugar mixture over each. Repeat layering apple slices, brushing with melted butter and sprinkling with sugar mixture until all apples, butter and the sugar mixture are gone (there will be about 8 or more layers of apples in each custard cup and cups will be very full). Cover tops of cups with plastic wrap, then foil. Using small sharp knife, pierce 4 holes through foil and plastic wrap of each to allow steam to escape.

Place cups with apple mixture on prepared baking sheet. Place 1 empty custard cup or ramekin atop each to weigh down. Bake apple mixture until very soft and reduced in volume by about half (some of the melted butter may spill out onto baking sheet), about 2 hours. Remove empty custard cups. Transfer cups with apple mixture to rack and cool at least 20 minutes. Invert onto a plate and serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Mixed Berry Ice Cream
24 ounces frozen, mixed berries, defrosted
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ cups half-and-half
1 cup sugar
5 whole egg yolks
1 ½ cups heavy cream

Add berries to a medium saucepan with ¼ cup sugar and lemon juice. Cook over low heat, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes. Press through mesh strainer, extracting as much juice/puree as possible. Set aside. Heat half-and-half and 1 cup sugar in a separate saucepan over low heat. Turn off heat when mixture is heated through. Beat egg yolks by hand or with an electric mixer until yolks are pale yellow and slightly thick.

Temper the egg yolks by slowly drizzling into the 1 ½ cups of hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly. After that, pour the egg yolk/half-and-half mixture into the pan containing the rest of the half-and-half. Cook over low to medium-low heat until quite thick, stirring constantly. Strain custard through mesh strainer into large bowl; stir in heavy cream.

Add blackberry juice/puree to the cream/custard mixture, combining thoroughly. Chill mixture completely, and then freeze in an ice cream maker until thick. Place container in freezer to harden for an additional 2 hours.

Makes around 12 servings

-- the AM Team

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