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Chef Kevin's 4th of July recipes

Chef is making Bean Casserole, Kalua Pork and a Berry Good Holiday Fluff Salad


Bean Casserole

  • 1/2 pound bacon strips, diced
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) baked beans 
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. cane syrup 
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder


In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain.

Transfer to a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish; add all beans and mix well. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; stir into beef and bean mixture.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and  bake 15 minutes longer.

Kalua Pork 

  • 4-6 pound pork shoulder or Boston butt roast
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid smoke, Hickory or Mesquite flavor
  • 2-3 Tbsp. red Hawaiian Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt 
  • Banana leaves - optional 


Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towel, do not trim off excess fat and place in the slow cooker.

Pierce all over with a fork, pour the liquid smoke evenly over the roast and sprinkle liberally with the sea salt.

Place the lid of the slow cooker on and set the time for eight to twelve hours on LOW.

Check at about eight hours for doneness. If not done let go the full 12 hours, checking every hour.

If you have used banana leaves you can remove them before shredding the pork.

Remove around 2 cups of liquid and set aside. This should be most of the cooking liquid removed. Shred the pork with forks and then add some of the liquid back in to keep the pork from drying out. You might not add all the liquid back in, save it for storing the pork if there are leftovers. 

The pork should be kept warm-hot in the liquid before serving. You can place the banana leaves on a platter then serve the pork on top of them or use fresh banana leaves for serving. Do not eat the banana leaves.

Keep pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer, keep some of the cooking liquid with it. Thaw in refrigerator if frozen. It can be reheated on low in the slow cooker.


If using banana leaves, which will keep the pork moist, place some leaves in the bottom of the pot reaching up the sides. Place the roast on top of the leaves, then add the liquid smoke and salt and wrap tightly with the leaves tucking them back under the roast. You can tie with cooking twine. Cook the same as a non wrapped roast. You can use fresh banana leaves on your serving platter under the pork if you like.

If cooking the Kalua pork in a conventional oven, place the roast on a large piece of foil, pierce all over, add the liquid smoke and salt and wrap tightly with foil, place in a roasting pan and pour ¼ water in the pan. Roast at 325 degrees for about 5 hours for 3lbs of pork shoulder and longer for bigger pieces up to 8 hours. Checking every 30 min for doneness after the original 5 hours. Shred as stated above. You can also wrap the pork in banana leaves and then with the foil.

This pork can be frozen after cooking. Keep in airtight freezer bags with the cooking liquid. Thaw in refrigerator, reheat in the slow cooker, oven or in a pan on the stovetop, don't microwave.

Berry Good Holiday Fluff Salad

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 lbs. fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Optional: Additional fresh strawberries and blueberries


In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Slowly add cream, beating until thick and fluffy.

Fold in 2 pounds strawberries and 2 cups blueberries. If desired, top with additional berries.

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