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.
Spicy Black-Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas are a Southern fave that have gained popularity outside the region over the last couple of years, spurred in part by the country's fascination with Southern cuisine. If you can't find them at your local farmers market, look for frozen black-eyed peas in the supermarket freezer section. Reduce the amount of hot sauce and finely chopped jalapeño to mellow out the spicy flavor, if you like. The smoked turkey leg lends salt and pleasant smoky flavor to the dish. Instead of throwing out the stewed leg meat, consider using it as a nice snack for pets—just be sure to check with your veterinarian to make sure it's okay for them to eat. A sweet onion like Vidalia is traditional in dishes like this, but yellow or Spanish onion will work just fine.