Slow cookers create delicious and warm meals for the winter months. Growing up, as soon as December rolled around my mother would break out the slow cooker. By the time I got home from school, the house would be filled with the smell of whatever amazing meal had been stewing all day. Convenient and delicious, I never realized how many different kinds of meals could be created with just a slow cooker until Judith Finlayson’s 175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics. We’re sharing a few of these perfect recipes with you throughout the month to help you celebrate the season with something yummy and warm for the whole family. Serve this simple risotto as an accompaniment to a meat course, such as plain roast chicken or grilled veal chops. Accompanied by a tossed green salad, and some crusty rolls, it also makes a light weeknight meal. Serves 4 to 6 Works best in slow cookers from 31⁄2 to 6 quarts INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp olive oil 3 leeks, white part with just a bit of green, cleaned and thinly sliced (see Tips, below) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 1 cup Arborio rice 1⁄2 cup dry white wine (see Tips, below) 21⁄2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional 1⁄4 cup finely chopped parsley DIRECTIONS In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring, until coated. Add white wine and stock and stir well. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Place a clean tea towel, folded in half (so you will have two layers), over top of stoneware to absorb moisture. Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours or on High for 2 hours, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender to the bite. Stir in Parmesan, if using, and parsley and serve. Tips To clean leeks: Fill sink full of lukewarm water. Split leeks in half lengthwise and submerge in water, swishing them around to remove all traces of dirt. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold water. If you prefer, use an additional 1⁄2cup (125 mL) of stock instead of the wine. Courtesy of 175 Essential Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson © 2015 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold. Image credit: Colin Erricson & Mark T. Shapiro For more delicious recipes check out our Food & Drink section. Congratulations! You found one of the secret questions for our Wellness From the Inside Out giveaway! Answer in the comments section below for one entry to win this week’s prize. Then, make sure to keep searching our latest stories for more chances to win. What’s your favorite thing to cook in the crockpot? 4 Responses Daniela Plume January 19, 2016 pork loin and vegetables Reply Amy Bielawski January 6, 2016 Don’t have one… But some friends swear by them. Reply Nancy H January 6, 2016 Vegetable or chicken curry Reply Lisa M January 5, 2016 Chicken barley soup Reply Start a Conversation to Daniela Plume Cancel a Conversation Connect with Enter your WordPress.com blog URL http://.wordpress.com Proceed Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.