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.
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
This traditional Louisiana Creole fare is the ultimate in thriftiness and convenience, with two main ingredients: dried beans and rice. The long cooking time coaxes all the savory, spicy flavors from the sausage into the beans. Be sure to add the salt to the dish after it has cooked and just before serving. Adding salt to dried beans too early will slow the cooking process and make the beans less tender. Add a perky side salad to balance the meal; try crunchy romaine lettuce with a dressing of red wine vinegar, whole-grain Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and cracked black pepper.