Cherry Sriracha Baby Back Ribs

No grill? Celebrate the Holiday With These Easy Ribs!

Ribs Plate3

Talk about falling-off-the-bone tender. These were practically leaping off the bone. In fact, I had to point at my plate and in a stern voice, shout “Stay!”

Ok, that may have never happened, but the falling off the bone part is true. The rest may have been a delusion due to my being a bit under the weather this weekend, which is also why this post is a little later than usual, but it is worth the wait for this tasty treat. This would be good for your 4th of July party if you don’t have a grill, or if you want something in addition to your grilled foods.

Cherry Sriracha Ribs Ingredients

It’s not quite as sweet as it sounds, the Sriracha Sauce helps temper that a little.

Start by cutting about 5 pounds of ribs (2 slabs comes out to about the correct weight) into pieces small enough to fit in the pressure cooker.

Ribs In Pan
Rub them with Montreal seasoning (or seasoning of your choice such as seasoned salt). I have been using a lot of this Montreal Seasoning lately. Partly because it is tasty, and partly because I went shopping at the local warehouse store, so I came home with what is quite possibly a lifetime supply. They must release some kind of drug into the air vents in those stores, because it always seems like a good idea at the time to buy a container of seasoning that causes you to have to tie your trunk shut for the ride home.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat.

In batches, brown the ribs (meat side only), removing them to a plate as you go. I probably really needed a platter because the ribs were stacked precariously high on the plate. I dubbed it “Mt. Ribmore”.

Ribs Stacked3
Toss a chopped onion in the pot and sauté it until it is translucent.

Add in four cloves of garlic (run through a press), a couple tablespoons fresh ginger (about a thumb sized piece, chopped) and a teaspoon of dry mustard and continue to sauté for another minute.

Ginger Piece

Now, add a jar (about 12-13 ounces. If you have a larger jar, measure about a cup) cherry preserves, 1 bottle (12 ounces) cola, 1/4 cup Sriracha, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 cup catsup, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon each sesame oil and liquid smoke. I always look for catsup and cola without high-fructose corn syrup. I know, it might seem strange considering other things I eat that HFCS is where I draw the line, but that’s just the way I am.

At this point, add in a little salt and pepper and return the meat to the pot.

Cover the pressure cooker and adjust heat to high and bring to high pressure.

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set the timer for 40 minutes.

When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release.

Remove the ribs to a plate.

Adjust heat to medium-high and let simmer the sauce for about 7 minutes or so.

Sauce Reducing

Remove the sauce from heat.

You can use sauce as is (rustic style), but I prefer to whizz it with an immersion blender for a few seconds.

Sauce Blending
Serve the ribs with some sauce on top and some on the side.

Ribs Plate2

Cherry Sriracha Baby Back Ribs
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
A sweet and spicy sauce with a slight Asian twist makes these tasty ribs perfect for your next get-toghether
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Montreal seasoning (for rubbing meat)
  • 5 pounds baby back ribs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 jar cherry preserves (about 12-13 oz. jar)
  • 1 12 oz. bottle cola
  • ¼ cup Sriracha chile sauce
  • 1 cup catsup
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut ribs into pieces small enough to fit in pressure cooker
  2. Rub with Montreal seasoning (or seasoning of your choice such as seasoned salt)
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  4. In batches, brown ribs on meat side only, then remove to plate
  5. Toss onions in the pot and sauté until they are translucent
  6. Add in the garlic, ginger and dry mustard and continue to sauté another minute
  7. Add in the cherry preserves, cola, Sriracha, soy sauce, catsup, vinegar, sesame oil and liquid smoke
  8. Add in the salt and pepper
  9. Return meat to pot
  10. Cover the pressure cooker and adjust heat to high
  11. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 40 minutes
  12. When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  13. Remove ribs to a plate
  14. Adjust heat to medium-high and let simmer for five minutes or so
  15. Remove from heat
  16. You can use sauce as is (rustic style), but I prefer to whizz it with an immersion blender
  17. Serve ribs with some sauce on top and some on the side

 

Make It A Pressure Cooker Summer!

Don’t Let Your Pressure Cooker Take The Summer Off!

PC_VACATION

As soon as the warm weather starts moving in, I’m sure that one thing on the minds of many is “Good, I can put away the long johns, the heavy sweaters, the winter coats, and the Pressure Cooker.

Just because it is Summer is no reason to give the old PC the entire summer off.

One day last week as I was making dinner, I realized that I had just used two pressure cookers to make a salad! I was making a “steak” salad, which also had some green beans in it. Just one minute in the pressure cooker and the beans were perfectly tender-crisp. As for the “steak”, chuck was on sale at the market for a price too good to pass up. Since chuck can be a little tough if you try normal steak-cooking methods, I braised it in some beer in the pressure cooker for about 30 minutes, and it was tender as all get-out.

It’s true that I don’t use the pressure cooker to make as many complete meals as I do in the cooler months, but I often use it to get things prepped for my summer meals.

The shorter cook times and lower heat keep the temps in the kitchen at a reasonable level.

What can you use the pressure cooker for in the summer?

Well, I just happen to have some suggestions:

You can “steam” potatoes for potato salad, which is a lot quicker and cooler than letting water come to a boil, tossing in the potatoes and then boiling for 20 minutes or so.

Try hard “boiling” eggs, for use in egg salad, the aforementioned potato salad, as well as many other salads. And it makes them so easy to peel.

Par-cook vegetables such as green beans and corn in a matter of minutes.

Make a big pot of “baked” beans to take to your picnic. It’s far better than canned, and keeps things a lot cooler than cooking them in the oven.

I almost always cook pasta in the pressure cooker now, too. Make pasta salads in half the time (or less).

I’m sure there are many other ways to use the pressure cooker in the summer months.

Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments.

 

Pressure Cooker Taco Pasta

This Ain’t No Hamburger Helper!

Taco Pasta Plate1

Now that summer is upon us, I try to make a lot of super quick meals, so as not to generate any more heat than is necessary in the kitchen. This is based on the classic dish that is sometimes know as “goulash”, but I just can’t get myself to call it that, since it bears no resemblance to actual goulash.

Taco Pasta Ingredients

The version as written is quite spicy, but you can leave out as many of the jalapeños as you like, or replace them with canned mild green chiles.

I don’t often use packaged seasoning, but recently I’ve added some of them to  my repertoire (such as in my Atlanta Brisket recipe) to save time during the summer months. But I do try to avoid ingredients such as MSG.

So let’s get started on it now, so you have time to take a dip in the pool after preparing the meal:

Heat a couple tablespoons cooking oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat.

Add the ground beef, chopping it up as it cooks, until no longer pink, then move beef to the side and add the chopped onion. Sauté the onion until it starts to soften.

Ground Beef Browning

Stir the beef and onion together, then add the taco seasoning and stir it together.

Beef Onion Taco Seasoning

Add in the Ro-Tel, olives, jalapeños and the macaroni and stir everything together well.

Beef Rotel Mixture

 

Pour in the beef broth until macaroni is covered (I used the entire 32 oz. carton, but it might vary depending on your pasta).
For stove top pressure cooker, cover and turn heat to high until LOW pressure is reached, then adjust heat to maintain low pressure.
For electric pressure cooker, turn off sauté mode, put top on cooker and set for LOW pressure.

Macaroni

The general rule for pressure cooking pasta is to cook it for half the time that is specified on the pasta package for al dente pasta, but I prefer slightly softer than al dente, so I usually cook it half the specified time plus 1 minute and it turns out just the way I like it. In this case, the macaroni package specified 8 minutes, so I set the timer for 5 minutes (four minutes, plus 1 minute).

When time is up, turn off heat and do a quick release.

Remove top and stir everything together.

Cheese Shredded

Add in about half of the cheese (about 1-1/2 cups), reserving the rest for topping.  Add in about 1/4 cup of the sour cream.

Give it a stir and let it sit for a minute or so.

Stir it once more, then serve on plates, topping with the reserved cheese and sour cream.

Taco Pasta Plate 4

Pressure Cooker Taco Pasta
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 servings
A South-of-the-Border take on the classic Macaroni & Beef. A perfect weeknight meal made super quick in the pressure cooker.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1-1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 box (16 oz.) elbow macaroni
  • 2 cans (10 oz. each) Ro-Tel
  • 1 can (4 0z.) sliced black olives
  • 1 can (3 oz.) diced jalapeños (if you prefer it less spicy, you can use less or substitute canned mild green chiles instead)
  • 1 quart (approximately) beef broth
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar, or cheese of your choice
  • ¼ cup sour cream, plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat a couple tablespoons cooking oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  2. Add ground beef, chopping it up as it cooks, until no longer pink
  3. Move beef to the side and add the chopped onion
  4. Sauté the onion until it starts to soften
  5. Stir the beef and onion together
  6. Add the taco seasoning and stir
  7. Add in the Ro-Tel, olives and jalapeños
  8. Dump in the macaroni
  9. Stir everything together well
  10. Pour in the beef broth until macaroni is covered (I used the entire 32 oz. carton, but it might vary depending on your pasta)
  11. For stove top pressure cooker, cover and turn heat to high until LOW pressure is reached, then adjust heat to maintain low pressure.
  12. For electric pressure cooker, turn off sauté mode, put top on cooker and set for LOW pressure.
  13. For the time, the general rule is half of what is specified on the pasta package for al dente pasta, but I prefer slightly softer than al dente, so I usually do it half the specified time plus 1 minute and it turns out just the way I like it. In this case, the macaroni package specified 8 minutes, so I set the timer for 5 minutes.
  14. When time is up, turn off heat and do a quick release.
  15. Remove top and stir everything together
  16. Add in about half of the cheese (about 1-1/2 cups), reserving the rest for topping
  17. Add in about ¼ cup of the sour cream
  18. Give it a stir and let it sit for a minute or so
  19. Stir it once more, then serve on plates, topping with the reserved cheese and sour cream

 

Sneak Peek – Taco Pasta

Taco Pasta – A Spicy Take On Beefy Mac

DSCF9565

Yes, I said Beefy Mac. I refuse to call macaroni with tomatoes and ground beef Goulash. Mostly because it is not goulash. Hungarian goulash is a totally different thing. Which reminds me, I still haven’t posted my Pressure Cooker Hungarian Goulash recipe. I will have to get to that one soon.

Which brings me back to this weekend’s recipe. Add spices and chiles to macaroni and ground beef, and you end up with Taco Pasta. I had the leftovers for two days after the first day that I made this, and didn’t even tire of it.

So stop by this weekend for the full recipe!

Pressure Cooker Hot Chicken Sandwich

Quebecois Hot Chicken Sandwich. Comfort Food At Its Finest!

Sandwich Top View

Ok, I’m not Canadian, but my heritage traces back to there. I also grew up so close to Canada that one time I accidentally got stuck in the line to cross the Ambassador Bridge to Canada because I was looking for parking to attend a concert in Downtown Detroit.

Once I reached the border guard, he let me make a U-Turn and go back to my search for parking. So, Canadian food is one of the cuisines I grew up with. And since a lot of it involves gravy, you can count me in!

There are quicker ways to make this recipe, such as buying a rotisserie chicken and jarred gravy, but I think this way is tastier, and it only takes about 40 minutes or so total.

Hot Chicken Sandwich Ingredients

It would not be a proper hot chicken sandwich if it wasn’t served with peas. You can use either frozen or canned, I have used both and I probably like canned better for this, but I used frozen this time. I usually just heat them in the microwave, but you can heat them on the stove if you prefer.

Plain white bread is traditional, but sometimes I switch it up with sourdough. Use whatever you like, but keep in mind that the bread should never be toasted! In fact I never understood this obsession with toasted bread. I don’t know if it is just here in SoCal, or it is everywhere, but it is difficult to order a sandwich in a diner without the bread being toasted. You usually have to specify “not toasted” to get  the bread in its natural state. Sure, some sandwiches, such as a BLT are normally served on toast, but something like a tuna sandwich or a corned beef sandwich? Come on!

Bread

To get started on the sandwich, melt a couple tablespoons of butter in the pressure cooker pot over medium heat.

Butter

Stir in 3 cups of beef broth, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, along with a teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet (you can leave this out if you want, but I like the flavor and color it adds to the gravy.

Chicken Breasts Seasoned

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this recipe utilizes the steam rack or trivet that came with your pressure cooker. All 3 of my pressure cooker came with such an item, so hopefully yours did as well.

Steam Rack

Season the skinless, boneless chicken breast halves with salt and pepper.

Once the sauce is stirred together, lower the steam rack into the pot and place the chicken on top of it. The chicken will be partially submerged, this is fine.

Chicken Breasts In Pot

Lock the top on the cooker, turn heat to high (or set your electric to reach high pressure and maintain for 10 minutes).

When high pressure is reached, adjust the heat to maintain high pressure (does not apply to electrics) and set timer for 10 minutes.

Slurry

While chicken/sauce is cooking, mix 3 tablespoons flour with about 6 tablespoons of water (just enough to make a thick liquid).

You can also heat up a can of peas at this time.

When time is up, do a quick release.

Remove the chicken to a plate.

Chicken Cooked

Carefully remove the steam rack.

Put the pressure cooker pot over medium high heat and bring to a simmer (electric use the sauté mode on high).

Stir in the flour/water mixture. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes to cook out the flour taste and to bring to the desired thickness, stirring frequently.

Shred the chicken meat with two forks. It doesn’t need to be finely shredded, just pull it apart.

Chicken On Bread

Arrange 1 piece of bread on a plate for each sandwich you are making.

Pile chicken on the bread (one breast half for each sandwich is good).

Bread On Plate

Put a little gravy on top of the chicken, then place another piece of bread on top. Add more gravy to the top of the sandwich, then top with peas.

Sandwich Assembled

Serve with French Fries.

Sandwich Finished 2

Enjoy, eh?

Pressure Cooker Hot Chicken Sandwich
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Quebecois Comfort Food At Its Finest!
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 4 half breasts)
  • salt and pepper (for chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons white flour
  • 8 slices bread (white is traditional, sourdough works great as well)
  • 1 can peas, or 1 bag of frozen peas
Instructions
  1. In pressure cooker pot over medium heat, melt the butter
  2. Stir in the beef broth, Worcestershire, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, the ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and Kitchen Bouquet)
  3. Lower steam tray or trivet into the pot
  4. Place chicken on top of the steam tray (liquid will come over the top of tray and partially submerge chicken)
  5. Lock top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  6. Set time for 10 minutes
  7. While that is cooking, make a slurry with 3 tablespoons of flour and enough water to make a thick liquid
  8. Heat peas in microwave or small pan
  9. When pressure cooker time is up, do a quick release
  10. Remove chicken to a board to cool and carefully remove the steam rack
  11. Put pressure cooker over medium heat and bring liquid to a simmer (on electric pressure cooker, use sauté mode on high setting)
  12. Stir in flour-water mixture
  13. Let simmer for 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently
  14. When desired thickness is reached, remove from heat
  15. Shred the chicken with two forks
  16. Place one slice of bread on each plate
  17. Top with chicken (approximately 1 breast half per sandwich
  18. Top each with another piece of bread, then cover sandwich with gravy
  19. Spoon peas on top of each sandwich
  20. Serve with French Fries

 

Sneak Peek – Quebec-Style Hot Chicken Sandwich

It’s Healthy, It Has Peas On It!

HOT CHICKEN SANDWICH

This weekend, I once again reach back into my heritage to make a tasty Quebec-Style Hot Chicken Sandwich (also known simply as a “Hot Chicken” or a “Chicken”. Not to be confused with Nashville Hot Chicken, Quebec-style Hot Chicken is a dish consisting of bread, chicken, gravy and peas. What’s not to love?

Come by this weekend to find out how to make it the pressure cooker way!

Pressure Cooker Atlanta Brisket

It’s Called Atlanta Brisket, But You Can Eat It Anywhere!

Brisket Plate Above

This is one of the simplest recipes ever. Sure, it may not be one of the healthiest things, but for me at least there is a certain nostalgic quality to the flavor.

Yes, it uses packaged onion soup mix, something that I for the most part try to avoid. But I think that is the main reason that it has such a comfort food feel to it. You see, I grew up in the midwest, and we rarely had a meal that didn’t involve some sort pre-made, processed soup item. Be it powdered onion soup or canned condensed cream of mushroom soup, the pantry was usually full of these items and my Mom wasn’t afraid to use them.

Heck, she even made a cake that had condensed tomato soup in it, and it was tasty!

So, although I didn’t grow up with this particular recipe, the flavors are familiar, taking me back to a simpler time. A time of war, riots and social upheaval, but it was a simpler upheaval. Ah, the good old days.

Ingredients

I’ll take “Things Michael Forgot To Include In The Ingredients Photo For 500, Alex”. The question is “What is Bay Leaf… What is Bay Leaf?”

Anyway, enough with the stroll down memory lane. This recipe derives its name from Atlanta’s own Coca Cola, which is traditionally used in the recipe. But here is where I become a bit hypocritical, I used a different cola because I didn’t want to use one with high fructose corn syrup. We have Mexican Coke in these parts which also does not have corn syrup, but they do not carry it at the market where I did my shopping this time, so I got the house brand. The same goes for ketchup. I always buy one that does not contain the deadly syrup. But yet, I recommend using the packaged onion soup mix. What can I say? I’m an enigma. If you really don’t want to use the mix, try a home made substitute like this.

Cola

The recipe for Atlanta Brisket is pretty standard, with minor variations from recipe to recipe. For some, apparently the onions from the soup mix are enough, but I like to add lots of sliced onions.

I realize the 90 minute cook time may sound like a long time for a pressure cooker, but making this in the oven takes about 4 hours, and in a crock pot even longer. So 90 minutes to a tender, falling apart brisket with a tangy, delicious sauce isn’t really that long. And the prep time is so quick on this that it kind of makes up for it.

When browning the meat, I like to rub it with yet another packaged product, Montreal Steak Seasoning.

So, let’s get started!

Brisket1

Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in the pressure cooker pot.

Rub a 3-3.5 pound brisket with Montreal Steak Seasoning or the rub of your choice. If there is a lot of fat on your brisket, you can trim some of it off. Depending on the size of your pressure cooker, you may have to cut it into a couple pieces. It is recipes like this that contain large hunks of meat where my Fissler really shines.

Brown on both sides, then remove to a plate.

Brisket Browned2

In the oil, sauté 3 thickly-sliced sweet onions (about 3/8″-1/2″ thick ought to do it). Sauté until the onions are translucent.

Pour in 1 12 oz. can of cola and stir around, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Onions Cooking1

Add the meat back into the pot.

Pour the ketchup on top of, and around, the brisket.

Sprinkle 1 packet of onion soup mix over the meat and in the sauce.

Add in 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, then toss in a couple of bay leaves.

Brisket Ketchup

Lock the top on the pressure cooker, put over high heat and set the timer for 90 minutes.

When time is up, let the pressure come down for ten minutes, then do a quick release.

Brisket Sliced1

Carefully remove the meat to a plate (please use caution, and support the bottom of the brisket as much as possible. The meat is so tender that you do not want a chunk of it falling into the hot pan sauce and splashing). Let the meat rest for 5-7 minutes.

While the meat is resting, skim some of the fat off the top of the sauce (I ended up with close to 2 cups).

When meat is finished resting, transfer to cutting board and slice against the grain into medium-thick slices.

Serve with sauce on top and sides of your choice!

Brisket Plate Close

Pressure Cooker Atlanta Brisket
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5-6 servings
A super simple, yet very flavorful braised brisket. The pressure cooker cuts the usual time by more than half.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • Montreal steak seasoning
  • 3-3.5 pounds beef brisket (if there is a lot of fat, you can trim off some of it)
  • 3 sweet onions, sliced about ½ inch thick
  • 1 12 oz. can cola
  • 1-1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 envelope packaged onion soup mix
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in pressure cooker pot over medium high heat
  2. Rub the brisket with the Montreal steak seasoning
  3. Brown the brisket on both sides
  4. When brisket is browned, remove to a plate
  5. Put onions into the pot and sauté until they are translucent
  6. Pour cola over the onions and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot
  7. Place meat back in the pan
  8. Add ketchup, onion soup mix and liquid smoke over and around the brisket
  9. Toss in a couple bay leaves and lock lid on pressure cooker
  10. Set time for 90 minutes
  11. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  12. Carefully remove meat to a cutting board and let rest for 5-7 minutes
  13. If sauce looks a little thin, you can simmer over medium heat while the meat rests to reduce a bit
  14. When resting time is up, slice medium thick slices against the grain
  15. Serve meat on plates with sauce spooned on top
  16. Sauce is also great on potatoes, if you are serving

 

Sneak Peek – Atlanta Brisket

Mmmm, Brisket…

Atlanta Brisket

This is one of the easiest recipes there is. Just a few ingredients and 90 minutes in the pressure cooker and you have a dang tasty brisket! It might sound like a long time, but the oven version takes 4 hours!

Stop back on the weekend to get the scoop!