Sunday, June 20, 2010

Panade, or the meal of leftovers

If you're anything like me you hate to throw away food. I'm guilty of this more often than I'd like to admit, but throwing away wilted veggies and stale bread because I bought them for one recipe and never figured out how to use the leftovers in time just kills me.

But that's where the "garbage" method of cooking comes in handy (i.e. taking whatever random foods you have lying around and turning them into a delicious meal, like my garbage soup).

So when I came across this recipe for panade, a stuffing-like dish using random leftovers, I had to try it out... especially since I love scratch-made stuffing like nobody's business.

As much as I enjoy the colorfulness of calling a dish "garbage stuffing", I love the fact that its official name is panade.  Makes it sound all French and fancy! And although delicious, it's quite a humble dish. Ahhh the irony in nomenclature...

Leeks and swiss chard and gruyere... oh my!

Buen Provecho,

Panade, adapted from thekitchn

Note: this dish would go great with some homemade french onion soup, especially when using gruyere as the cheese for the panade. mmmmm.


1 loaf bread (~12 - 16 ounces)
2-4 cups of filling, after cooking*
1+ cups shredded cheese
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

*This is where the garbage part of the stuffing comes in.  I made my dish with ~1.5 cups of sauteed leeks and swiss chard (and gruyere as my cheese). Here are some suggestions for other fillings: onions/leeks, chard/ mustard greens/spinach, bok choy, celery, carrots, beans, sausage, chicken, nuts, etc. The 2-4 cups is roughly the amount you want after cooking the onions, wilting the chard, cooking the chicken, etc.


1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Slice the bread into 1" cubes.  Drizzle or spritz them with some olive oil, spread onto a cookie sheet and bake for 20-40 minutes (until they are lightly toasted and completely dry). Note: I let my bread cubes sit overnight (uncovered) on a baking sheet to dry them beforehand so they took less time to toast in the oven. The time in the oven will depend on the freshness of your bread so just keep an eye on them.

2. While the bread is toasting, prepare your filling.  Sauté your onions, cook the meat, etc. Combine fillings together. Shred the cheese and place in a small bowl. Bring the broth to a simmer (to give the cooking a head start).

3. When everything is ready, assemble your panade in a 2-quart baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes on the bottom then layer half the filling (pressing it so that it goes into the gaps between the bread cubes) and sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat.

5. Pour the warm broth over the top of the panade. It should fill the dish to within a half-inch of the top.

6. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, making sure to seal the edges. Place the dish in the oven (still heated to 350°) and bake for 45 minutes covered. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, until the top is crusty and you can see the insides bubbling.

7. Let the panade cool for ~10 minutes and enjoy!


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