The Joy of Leftovers x
Ah, leftovers…it’s not quite the case that I shopped and cooked for Christmas lunch with the leftovers in mind, but I have rather been looking forward to them, possibly slightly more than the lunch itself.
Luxurious food which uses what you have already: hopefully as well as clearing the fridge somewhat this will also serve to use up some of those storecupboard ingredients which will otherwise hang around waiting for inspiration to strike.
This is a fairly wide range of leftover dishes, my only criteria is that they use at least one ingredient left over from Christmas day, preferably two or more. These can all be made in various quantities to feed one person or a large group of friends or family. Nothing too radical, I’m quite a traditionalist, so the usual selection is*:
- Bubble & squeak with a poached egg on top (I tried adding some of the sweet potato mash this year as well as leftover potatoes, sprouts and carrots – delicious!)
- Turkey and ham pie, leftover turkey and ham (naturally) with added leeks as well as mushrooms this year, roux sauce with a bit of leftover cream added, and some quick flaky pastry
- Pea & ham soup (tends to be made around new year to use the ham bone once most of the ham’s been eaten up, but don’t forget to simmer the bone and throw the first lot of water away to get rid of the salt)
- Phite risotto made with the turkey stock, onions & garlic, served with leftover asparagus we didn’t quite get a chance to eat on Boxing Day (sounds extravagant but it was half price on Christmas eve) plus frozen peas and broad beans and finished with leftover parmesan
- Walnut & stilton pasta (not for anyone already on their New Year health kick or worried about their colesterol levels); melted butter with stilton crumbled into it and a handful of walnuts and peas stirred in, mixed into cooked spaghetti or tagliatelli…totally delicious! (In my view in any case)
- Sausage pasta, a rich slow-cooked tomato sauce with crumbled sausage meat and dried chilli flakes and a spoonful of cream added at the end
- and in a departure from the usual suspects, I’m rather looking forward to “No Butter Turkey” using the very last of the turkey plus a recipe and spice pack from a good friend of mine who runs an Indian cookery school and takeaway service (take a look at www.sweetcumin.co.uk if you’d like to find out more)
- Panettone bread and butter pudding, just add butter, dried fruit, a few nuts, eggs, grated nutmeg & cream, maybe some sugar, need I say more? Also works really well with brioche, or unsurprisingly, bread 😉
- Christmas pudding ice-cream (also works with Christmas cake)
With appropriate use of the freezer and the garage which has been co-opted into being a spare (very cold) fridge at the moment, and the odd toasted cheese sandwich lunch that’s possibly enough to feed us all for a couple of weeks.
Of course, I didn’t quite stick to my resolve to avoid buying enough food to feed an army, so there are a few more leftovers to use up. Other possibilities include:
- Christmas muffins with dried fruit, cinnamon, orange zest and pears
- a variety of tortillas, pizzas and quiches (as long as the chickens in the nearby farmhouse supply enough eggs – perks of looking after them)
- paella with the leftover salamis in lieu of chorizo and er… chicken as we must surely have run out of turkey by then 🙂
* The usual selection is not a healthy selection I’m afraid, feel free to leave out the cream and butter as you wish xx
** full recipes available subject to demand
Happy frugal eating!!