You’ve seen all those people with supermarket trolleys piled high on the 23rd or 24th of December. I’m one of them – but I hate throwing food away, so here are my plans to make the best of the leftovers!
You can also often pick up very cheap Xmas food after Christmas, so look out for jars of mincemeat or Xmas puddings that can be put in your store cupboard or a turkey crown to go in the freezer. Have a mini Christmas day lunch in a few months time!
Turn the remains into…
Boxing Day If you have any left over mashed potato, then make bubble and squeak – finely chop any other cooked vegetables , stir them through the mashed potato and fry in butter! Serve with a fried egg for a brilliant Boxing Day brunch.
At lunch and tea I don’t normally feel like any more cooking so we just have it cold with salad and/or club sandwiches. Pile in any spare stuffing (not usually any left in my house!), bread sauce, cranberry sauce, bacon, slice of cheese etc.
Day 2 When the kids were small this was their favourite – chop turkey and put it into a white sauce on pasta or rice.
You can add things like sweetcorn, chopped up pepper and peas for colour – put all three in and you have “traffic light pasta”!
But now they are teens or bigger, we usually go for something spicy:
- curried turkey is perfect. The meat is already cooked, so this is really quick to do;
- stir fry it with ginger, garlic, soy and some colourful vegetables;
- a chilli con carne with a touch of chocolate is good, especially if you want to make a large panful. I use a variation on this recipe adding the chopped up cooked turkey 5 minutes from the end. Served with lettuce, grated cheese and tortillas or tacos, it make a change from “Christmas food”
If you still have a lot left, cooked turkey freezes well. But I am usually down to the last pickings, so here are a couple of recipes that only need small pieces:
- I use bought puff pastry to make these turkey, bacon and mushroom puffs.
- this Chicken, Leek and Ham risotto is even nicer with turkey instead of chicken.
Day 4 Make stock for soup or casseroles. This is really easy: break the carcass up so you can fit it in a large pot, add a peeled onion cut in two, a couple of carrots and/or stick of celery if you have them, a bay leaf and some peppercorns and cover with water. Simmer gently for 2 hours. That will make a LOT – if you want to freeze it, boil it down so it’s more concentrated and will take up less room in the freezer.
And for pudding?
If you have left over cranberry sauce, these mini cheese cakes make a great pudding, that childrencould help to make. I use ginger nuts instead of Graham Crackers.
Tired of mince pies or too tired to make them? Mincemeat goes really well with apples:
- Try stirring a tablespoon or two of mincemeat into sliced cooking apples then adding a crumble topping
- Apples stuffed with mincemeat are easy, great with custard or cram and the perfect pudding to fill up the family on a cold day.
Christmas Pudding reheats easily in the microwave – try a very short time as it gets hot quickly. Home-made Christmas Pudding Icecream is nicer than the expensive versions you can find in a supermarket.
Does your family have a favourite for Christmas leftovers?