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Dining In 2 minutes 21 December 2018

Clever Ways With Christmas Leftovers

Here are ways and recipes to recycle the remnants of your festive feast.

Christmas recipe guide

So, the gifts are unwrapped and the tinsel’s coming down the tree. The party’s over (till New Year’s Eve, at least) and you’re left with a fridge full of food. Before you chuck your leftovers or make another boring turkey sandwich, here are some delicious ideas for putting your Christmas leftovers to good use.
Always volunteer to take home the leftover ham.
Always volunteer to take home the leftover ham.
Ham
Leftover ham is as versatile an ingredient as it gets. One should always volunteer to take home the remainder of the ham at pot luck parties. It’ll keep in the fridge for about four days and you can cut ham into chunks and add them to pasta dishes, fried rice, potato salad and omelettes. You can even make homemade pizza the next day and jazz it up with fresh mozzarella and vine-ripened tomatoes and whatever else you like. 
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Otherwise, try this recipe from Aitor Jeronimo Orive, head chef of Basque Kitchen by Aitor in Singapore who used to helm Iggy's, for a ham dashi broth. Mincing up the ham and simmering it with shiitake mushrooms, kombu and bonito flakes creates a deeply flavourful stock that works as a base for congee, or ramen.


And when you can’t ham it up any more, shredded ham can be frozen and used in the months to come.

Roast turkey and chicken
Now, these tend to dry out really quickly and so leftovers are best utilized in dishes with plenty of liquid or moisture like salads with dressings and vinaigrette, frittatas or quiches work well too. Add shredded turkey or chicken to soups or smothered in creamy sauce and baked into filo pastry-topped pies.

In Catalunya, leftover chicken stew is used to make canelon. Take a leaf from FOC’s executive chef Jordi Noguera’s family cookbook and make chicken canelon with leftover poultry.
Watch chicken canelon being made by FOC's Jordi Noguera
And don’t waste those carcasses; cooked low and slow, good stock can be rendered from bones and mirepoix. “It is simple, but a good stock requires time and attention to reduce, develop and gradually increase in flavour. At home, I simply allow the stock to slowly reduce overnight for a more intense flavour, and it also makes my house smell really nice in the morning,” says chef-owner Emmanuel Stroobant of one-starred Saint Pierre, who contributed his recipe for French stock, simply replace veal with your leftover turkey or chicken carcass, and red wine for white.

Roast beef
A basic roast beef sandwich can be transformed with caramelized onions and tangy horseradish mayo; chunks of leftover beef can be stewed into stroganoff or boeuf bourguignon in a slow-cooker. And any recipe for beef pie can be adjusted to use leftover beef. If your roast beef still has a good amount of fat in it, try your hand at this fancy beef butter recipe by UK's meat maestro Richard Turner, executive chef of popular British steakhouse Hawksmoor.
Leftover roasted potatoes and veggies are great for fritattas and traybakes.
Leftover roasted potatoes and veggies are great for fritattas and traybakes.
Roasted vegetables
So, you got a little carried away with the potatoes and now there’s just too much left. Never fear, these versatile spuds can be transformed into Boxing Day morning breakfast frittatas and egg hash or turn into rosti for lunch. Better yet, add some butter and turn them into mash for shepherd’s pie—this two-in-one solution is the best for leftover roast meats too.

Leftover roasted carrots, pumpkin and onions can be used in salads or lasagnes and veggie bakes. If you’re tired of cooking, the no-cook answer is vegetable dips: blend the vegetables with an equal quantity of cream cheese for a yummy dip to eat with nachos or crudites.
hot choc copy.jpg
Chocolates
Chances are, you’ve received boxes of chocolate from your Secret Santa or as stocking stuffers, and you know what’s better than eating them? Drinking them. Make the most luscious hot chocolate with this easy slow-cooker recipe and throw those leftover marshmallows and candy canes on top. If you aren’t a fan of bitter dark chocolate, sweeten them up with this recipe for vegan chocolate mousse made with a clever egg white substitute: Aquafaba.
Alcohol
I don’t know why you’d have alcohol left over, but if you do, here’s what to do with opened bottles of red wine and half-flat prosecco. Use leftover red wine to make mulled wine, the spices will mask any shortcomings of a bottle left out too long; leftover red, white and flat sparkling wines can be frozen in ice cube trays to add to mimosas, salad dressings and stews. Soak berries like raspberries and grapes in prosecco for a boozy kick to desserts, or poach pears and peaches in leftover bubbly.
Infuse your own alcohol at home with this easy technique
Infuse your own alcohol at home with this easy technique
And if it’s the hard stuff you’ve got left, try your hand at infusing alcohol to create delicious cocktail-bar-worthy concoctions at home: gin pairs well with dried flowers like chrysanthemum and rum with vanilla pods and blueberries; spice up vodka with jalapenos and whisky with cinnamon.

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