Fricassees are usually made with meat, but this stick-to-your-ribs recipe uses tempeh, seitan, or tofu along with slow-cooked early-autumn vegetables, shallots, and white wine to make a fragrant stew that warms the senses and the soul.
No fine mincing required: the veggies are chunky, and the recipe practically makes itself whether you use a slow-cooker or not. Imagine your kitchen filling with the appetizing fragrance of a French farmhouse!
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, quartered
1/2 cup dry white wine
12 ounces tempeh, seitan, or extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
8 ounces baby carrots, halved lengthwise
8 ounces small red potatoes, halved
8 ounces green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon or parsley leaves
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute to reduce slightly. Transfer the shallot mixture to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, or a large heavy-bottomed soup pot.
2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the seitan, tempeh, or tofu and cook until lightly browned on both sides, about 10 minutes, then add to the slow cooker along with the carrots, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and stock; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, cover, and cook on Low for 8 hours if using slow cooker. If using stovetop, heat to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 35-40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
3. Just before serving, stir in the tarragon or parsley.