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.
Cuban Beans and Rice
Dried beans and your slow cooker are a match made in heaven: the beans become tender and creamy with a low, slow simmer, absorbing whatever flavors join them in the pot. Besides being a delicious, hands-off main, beans and rice is also economical: Both are inexpensive and keep almost indefinitely in your pantry. Traditional beans and rice often includes pork. Instead, we kept this dish meatless, flavoring the beans with warm spices, tomatoes with green chiles, and a splash of sherry vinegar for tang and depth. The result is a vegetarian main even the meat eaters in your family will enjoy. Leftovers are an excellent, satisfying lunch.