There's a reason why slow cooker recipes are wildly popular. We want convenience, and we want—and need—it now. The slow cooker delivers just that, working hard for us while we're hard at work, welcoming us home to a fragrant dinner that's just waiting to be enjoyed. This simple appliance works miracles with tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, coaxing out incredible flavor and turning out meltingly tender results. Through its low, slow cooking, it melds and marries flavors; it brings ingredients together in delicious harmony. And it offers up a few surprises: appetizers, sides, and drinks that simmer to perfection—hands-free.
Barley-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Pine Nuts and Currants
We love this easy spin on an old-school classic. Steamed cabbage leaves get stuffed with barley, feta cheese, currants, and pine nuts, then stew in a sweet-sour tomato sauce. The instructions direct you to cut off the raised portion of the center vein of each leaf; this step makes the leaves easy to roll up without splitting. Use a paring knife, and shave off the raised vein; don't cut it completely out. The recipe calls for cooked pearl barley, but if you'd like a whole-grain version, opt for cooked hulled barley. (The pearling process removes the inedible hull as well as the nutritious bran.)