Cookin’ with Coasties: FS3 Brandon Coomer

Cookin’ with Coasties is a series that features food specialists stationed at Coast Guard units throughout Alaska, and recipes to their favorite meals they prepare for their crews.

FS3 Brandon Coomer  prepares carnitas dish at Air Station Sitka, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

FS3 Brandon Coomer prepares carnitas dish at Air Station Sitka, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Providing three square meals a day to the hard working men and women of Air Station Sitka has its rewards and challenges, but Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Coomer, a food service specialist, has the years of experience to get the job done.

“I’ve been cooking as long as I can remember,” said Coomer. “Helping my grandma out in the kitchen was almost an everyday occurrence. She taught me most of what I know, along with a few cooks I worked with in some civilian kitchens.”

Coomer, an Austin, Texas, native, joined the Coast Guard for the unique experiences that are a part of a seagoing service and for the educational benefits. Alaska, Sitka specifically, provided that unique experience for Coomer as he settled into the area and the job.

“Sitka itself is amazingly beautiful,” said Coomer. “Living in Texas, you don’t get to see many mountains or much snow so it’s a welcomed change of scenery. I like working at the air station because it’s what the Coast Guard is all about, saving lives!”

Coomer’s first unit was the Coast Guard Cutter Joshua Appleby homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla. The friendships formed on the Appleby continue to this day for Coomer as he keeps in contact with shipmates for words of advice or to discuss what they’ve been up to, like cooking up in Alaska.

“The main reason I love to cook is I love to eat,” said Coomer. “Good food makes people happy.”

And feel free to tryout the recipe below; one Coomer prepares to keep the crews at Air Station Sitka happy.

FS3 Brandon Coomer presents a plate of carnitas, a meal he enjoys to serve to the crew of Air Station Sitka, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

FS3 Brandon Coomer presents a plate of carnitas, a meal he enjoys to serve to the crew of Air Station Sitka, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Pork Carnitas

3 lbs of pork shoulder
3 cups olive oil
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup dried oregano
6 garlic cloves
Juice of 8 limes

While setting aside the juice of 4 limes and 1/2 cup cilantro, mix all ingredients together and place, covered, in a preheated oven set at 275 for about 6 hours or until meat starts to shred. Take the fat cap off of the shoulder and render it in a pan on med-high heat. After removing the fat from the pan add shredded pork and the lime juice cilantro mixture. Fry for 5 minutes until the pork starts to crisp. Eat immediately.

Tags: , ,