New England Boiled Dinner
An example of country-style cooking, this dish is called pot au feu, or "pot on the fire" in France. The key to this recipe is proper timing in cooking the vegetables. A practical way is to start by cooking those that take the longest time and add the other vegetables in order. As each vegetable is cooked, remove it from the pot and keep it warm until needed.
Serving: Serves: 4
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
1 cup peeled and coarsely grated carrots
2 cups thickly sliced onions
2 medium potatoes, halved (peeled or unpeeled)
2 cups sliced parsnips (optional)
8 thick slices of seitan (or 1 pound tofu)
8 cups water (or 4 cups seitan water and 4 cups plain water)
1/4 cup minced basil (or 4 teaspoons dried basil)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons (or more) minced garlic
1 cup butternut squash, peeled, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery, cut on the diagonal
4 wedges cabbage, each 2 inches wide
2 to 6 Tablespoons barley miso
1/2 cup arrowroot, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
Cucumber slices, fresh parsley, or tomato-peel roses, for garnish
Cook the carrots, onions, potatoes, parsnips (if you wish), and seitan in the water with the basil, pepper, and garlic.
When they are almost cooked, add the squash, celery, and cabbage and cook until these three vegetables are tender-crisp.
(As an alternative, stir the squash into the stew and place the cabbage and celery on top of the other ingredients. Cover the pot and let the vegetables steam briefly.)
Check the vegetables frequently and remove them promptly when done.
Dissolve the miso into some of the stock, return to the pot, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
To thicken the stock, drain the vegetables and seitan from the stock and set aside.
Put the stock over a low heat and add the dissolved arrowroot, stirring constantly to make a smooth sauce.
Divide the seitan and vegetables evenly onto four dinner plates.
Pour the sauce evenly over each serving.
Garnish with cucumber slices, a sprig of fresh parsley, or a tomato-peel rose.