31 Days of Slow Cooker Meals: Spicy Peach Pork Chops

I love pork chops. It was one of the meats that we had the most when I was a kid. Mom traditionally made them with the Shake ‘n’ Bake coating and baked them in the oven and served them with homemade applesauce. Yum. But did you know that other fruits also taste good with pork chops? This Spicy Peach Pork Chops dish that you can make in your slow cooker has a bit of sweet and savory plus just a little bit of heat to it, if you are so inclined. Continue reading “31 Days of Slow Cooker Meals: Spicy Peach Pork Chops”

31 Days of Slow Cooker Meals: Barbecue Pork Ribs

One of my favorite summer meals is barbecue pork ribs. They’re so good when you cook them on the grill. But when it is winter, it isn’t as likely that you’re going to get someone to stand outside and cook them on the grill. Fear not, you can make them just as deliciously in your slow cooker and even get to spend less time worrying about them, because they cook without you standing over them. Plus you only need a couple of ingredients to make this mouth-watering dinner dish.

Continue reading “31 Days of Slow Cooker Meals: Barbecue Pork Ribs”

#InstantPot Thai Chicken Thighs

Your Instant Pot is perfect for creating tasty dinners in a quick amount of time. These Thai Chicken Thighs go well with rice and your favorite vegetables. And if you make extra or plan ahead, they are also good cold for lunch the next day. As always, you can adjust the ingredients to fit your own taste preferences. Note that if you do add in more peanut butter for the peanut sauce, you will have to also adjust the amount of liquid so that your Instant Pot can reach adequate pressure.

It takes 10 minutes to prep this meal, and 10 minutes to cook plus time to come to pressure. This recipe will feed four to six people.

Ingredients for Thai Chicken Thighs

  • 2 T. sesame oil
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2/3 c. chicken broth
  • ¼ c. sugar-free peanut butter
  • ¼ c. gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 2 T. honey, preferably local
  • 1½ T. Sriracha sauce
  • 2 t. fresh ginger
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Garnish Ingredients

  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ c. roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 3-4 green onions, cut into thin slices

How to Make Thai Chicken Thighs

  1. Add sesame oil to Instant Pot and set the “Sauté” setting to high. Working in batches, if necessary, brown the chicken thighs, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat this process with remaining thighs. Remove and set aside on a platter.
  2. Pour chicken broth into hot container and gently scrape up brown bits from bottom. Add peanut butter to the hot liquid and stir until completed melted. Add soy sauce, lime juice, honey, Sriracha sauce, ginger, and garlic powder. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
  3. Add metal rack to the Instant Pot and place the browned chicken thighs on top.
  4. Add lid and lock into place. Switch vent to “Sealing” position and set the “Manual” setting on high before adjusting the cook time to 10 minutes. After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will automatically start building pressure.
  5. When finished, do a quick release (QR) to allow the pressure to escape. Unlock and carefully remove lid when finished and transfer the chicken to a platter.
  6. Optional: To thicken sauce, select the “Sauté” setting and heat, stirring continually, until the excess liquid is reduced and the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
  7. Turn Instant Pot off and return the chicken thighs and the juices that accumulated on the platter to the sauce and turn to coat.
  8. Remove chicken and transfer to a serving tray. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, and green onions, if desired. Serve immediately with extra peanut sauce and your favorite sides. Enjoy!

#InstantPot Baby Back Ribs

You don’t have to wait until it is warm outside to have mouthwatering baby back ribs for dinner. Forget the grill and bust out your Instant Pot! Make them with just the dry rub, or use your favorite BBQ sauce for added flavor. May I recommend the Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce that you can also make in the Instant Pot?

This meal is easily prepped in just 10 minutes. Cooking time is 30 minutes plus time to come to pressure. It serves four.

Baby Back Ribs Dry Rub Ingredients

  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1 t. dried rosemary
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • ½ t. cinnamon
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • ½ t. smoked paprika
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Other Ingredients for Baby Back Ribs

  • 2½ – 3 lbs. baby back ribs
  • 1 c. beef stock (or water)
  • Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce (or BBQ sauce of choice)

How to Make Baby Back Ribs in the Instant Pot

  1. Combine ingredients for the dry rub in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. Carefully remove membrane from back of baby back ribs with a sharp knife, if necessary. Cut the ribs into 3 or 4 equal-sized parts and work the dry rub into each section on both sides. Set aside.
  3. Add beef broth or water to Instant Pot and insert the metal rack. Place the seasoned ribs on their sides on top of the insert. (Do not stack them flat on top of each other).
  4. Lock the Instant Pot lid into place and flip the pressure valve to “Sealing.” Set the “Manual” setting to high for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  6. Once cooking time is complete, do a quick release (QR) by flipping the sealing valve to the “Venting” position. Unlock and remove the Instant Pot lid and carefully transfer ribs to prepared baking sheet. Brush ribs with a generous amount of BBQ sauce on each side.
  7. Pre-heat broiler to high and broil the ribs for 3-5 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from oven and cool slightly before cutting into individual portions. Serve immediately with extra BBQ sauce for dipping.

#InstantPot Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce

Sure, you can buy all kinds of flavors of BBQ sauce in the stores. But there’s just something about making your own. You can easily make this dark cheery BBQ sauce right in your Instant Pot and tweak it to fit your own taste. It already has a ton of flavor in it, with the natural sweetness of the cherries and maple syrup combined with the warmth of the ginger, rosemary, and cinnamon flavors. Max out on the taste by making the sauce a couple of days ahead of time, so that the flavors have a chance to settle and really blend together for that perfect combination.

This recipe takes only about five minutes to prepare. Cooking time is 10 minutes, plus the time to come to pressure. It serves six to eight people.

Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce is quick and easy to make and will taste great on your favorite meat dishes.

Ingredients for Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce

  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 2½ c. fresh or frozen dark cherries, pitted
  • 1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies, with liquid
  • 3 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 t. fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1½ t. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. smoked paprika
  • 3 T. maple syrup
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 t. liquid smoke (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

How to Make Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce

  1. Add olive oil to Instant Pot and select the “Sauté” function on the high temperature setting. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté until soft and slightly golden, approximately 3-4 minutes.
  2. Turn off the Instant Pot and add remaining ingredients, including the liquid from the tomatoes. If you have elected to also use the liquid smoke, now’s the time to add it. Stir to combine and season with salt and black pepper to taste. 
  3. Lock the lid into place. Make sure the valve is set to the “Sealing” position and set the “Manual” setting to high for 10 minutes. After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will automatically start building pressure.
  4. When finished cooking, do a quick release (QR) of the pressure according to the manufacturer’s suggestions before unlocking and removing the lid.
  5. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days. 

Note: If you’re looking to make a thicker sauce, return it to the Instant Pot and bring it to a low boil using the “Saute” function set to high Heat, stirring frequently, until the excess liquid is reduced and the sauce reaches the desired consistency.

Try it on your favorite meat dishes. May I recommend baby back ribs that you can also make in your Instant Pot?