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.
Sweet Potato Gratin
If you want a break from the typical sugar-packed sweet potato treatment, try this decidedly savory side. Instead of piling sugar or marshmallows onto sweet potatoes (which are already naturally sweet), enhance their taste with lightly browned onions, woodsy thyme, and salty Parmesan cheese. The flavor combination is irresistible. The gratin serves a crowd, so it’s perfect for a dinner party, open house, or holiday table. Make the job of slicing the potatoes much quicker and easier by using a mandoline or food processor fitted with the slicing blade. If you're not sticking to a vegetarian diet, you can swap in chicken stock for the vegetable broth.