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The Pantry Part 3 -- Leftovers

Jo with salad.JPEGWe're back in the pantry again this week.

Bah! Nothing on the shelf but leftovers: half a shriveled turnip, some spaghetti sauce, and Chinese take-out from another decade.

Leftovers get a bad rap.

But they can also be a great chance to experiment in the kitchen.

This week on The Pantry, CBC's Jennifer Warren ambushes private chef Joanna Notkin. Joanna's challenge: to create something yummy using JUST the leftovers in her fridge.

As you can see from the photo, it was a success! There are more photos on our Facebook page.

And Dyan Solomon of Olive et Gourmando stops by studio. She gives us the inside scoop on how leftovers are used in high-end restaurant kitchens, and shares some tips from top chefs on how to make leftovers into an extraordinary new meal at home.  

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Serves 2

For the faux bacon bits:

2-4 slices of Italian deli meat (such as salami, proscuitto, sopressata, porchetta), sliced in thin strips or minced

For the toast croutons:

1 large or 2 small slices of thick cut bread, any kind you have

2 tbsp olive oil

pinch of salt and pepper

minced garlic, optional

For the salad:

1 small Savoy cabbage, sliced in half, cored and then slice into ribbons about a half inch thick. About 3-4 cups
(depending on the size of the cabbage you can use a quarter or a half of the cabbage and reserve the rest)

1 tbsp oil

1/3 cup of stock, or water ( could be chicken, veal or vegetable)

1/4 tsp salt and pepper

1-2 tbsp heavy cream (35% is best)

1 tbsp capers

1tbsp parmesan cheese grated or very thinly sliced

Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Slice stale bread in thick cubes about inch thick. Toss them with a generous amount of olive oil and season nicely with salt and pepper (minced garlic if you have it). Toast on a baking sheet until fully crisp . Depending on what bread you use this will take between 10-15 minutes. Heat a small pan over medium heat and sautee deli meat until crisp, set aside. Meanwhile, using a large fry pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat and add sliced cabbage making sure not to brown. Stir cabbage until it begins to soften slightly then add 1/3 cup liquid and allow to steam. Keep the heat low enough that the cabbage is not scorching and add more liquid if necessary. Continue stirring and season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the cabbage is fully softened add 1-2 tbsp heavy cream and heat through. Plate the cabbage with a generous helping of croutons, crispy deli meat and capers and parmesan if you have it.