Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs & Patriotic Pasta Salad

Hi everyone,

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I hope you all had a very enjoyable 4th of July. The weather was perfect and we had a lovely day relaxing, eating delicious food, and an evening of watching fireworks and celebrating America.

Bob and I decided that we didn’t want to have the usual hot dogs, hamburgers, and grilled chicken barbecue that we usually prepare every year for this holiday. We wanted to change up the menu along with the side dishes and we decided on having a rack of baby back ribs.

We absolutely love ribs and I found a recipe on Instagram months ago for pressure-cooked pork ribs that I have been meaning to try with only 4 ingredients. Of course, I tweaked the recipe a bit.

The original recipe was by author: Diane Schmidt.

I just bought a new spice rub from Trader Joe’s (BBQ 101)- a little sweet and savory, plus I always have a bottle of Stonewall Kitchen Boozy Bacon Barbecue Sauce in the refrigerator so I was all set.

Cooks Note: the spice rub contains brown sugar, smoked paprika, dried roasted garlic, dried red chile pepper, salt, dried onion, and black pepper.

I even wanted new side dishes along with the traditional potato salad & corn and I decided on red, white, and blue pasta salad with a lemon vinaigrette dressing. I am not talking about the pre-made salad but a homemade Patriotic salad with food dye and pasta (see below– it’s easier than it sounds).

Dinner was fabulous with fall-off-the-bone ribs and we enjoyed every bite and then finished the meal with Patriotic rainbow cookies and ice cream. Just in time to go to a local fireworks display.

I was so impressed with the rib recipe that I just had to share the recipes with you…I hope you try them and enjoy them.

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Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

Adapted from a recipe by Diane Schmidt

Ingredients:

  • 2-5 lbs. of baby back ribs
  • 1 cup of water or stock
  • Spice rub for the ribs -homemade or store-bought (I use Trader Joe’s BBQ 101)
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce to finish the ribs

Directions:

  • When cooking ribs (baby back or spareribs), remove the membrane or silver skin that covers the bone side of each rack. If it’s left on, it keeps seasonings and smoke from penetrating the meat, and it cooks into an unpleasant leathery skin.
  • Cut the ribs into portions to fit inside the instant pot
  • Be generous when coating the ribs with the spice rub
  • Place the ribs on the rack that comes with the instant pot to keep the meat out of the cooking liquid
  • Add 1 cup of water or stock
  • Place the lid on the pot and CLOSE the pressure regulator
  • Cook the ribs on high for 25 minutes
  • Allow the ribs to naturally release for approx. 8 minutes
  • Place the ribs on a hot grill at 500 degrees or finish cooking under the broiler for 5 minutes on HIGH to crisp up the pork, without drying the meat.
  • Top the ribs with barbecue sauce and serve

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Patriotic Pasta Salad

I boiled my pasta as per the package directions. When finished cooking, I rinsed 2/3 of the pasta and divided it into three bowls.

Before starting with the food dye, I suggest you wear plastic food safety gloves to save your hands from the dye.

To bowl # 1, I added 1 tbsp of water and 1 tsp of blue food coloring and mixed well.

To bowl # 2, I added 1 tbsp of water and 1 tsp of red food coloring and mixed well.

The pasta with the food coloring can be rinsed gently to get rid of excess color before serving

To bowl # 3, I added 1 tbsp of olive oil to prevent the food dye from rubbing and transferring color on the plain pasta and mix well.

Keep the pasta separated until ready to serve with your favorite vinaigrette because the colors could bleed into the plain pasta if sitting too long.

Add-ons could be mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and cucumbers- have fun with this.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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