I don't know about you but, in our house, we eat Christmas lunch around 1pm, specifically so that by early evening we'll be feeling nicely peckish and sufficiently merry to tackle the leftovers.
Leftovers are by far the greatest thing about a Christmas dinner. The range of chutneys, sauces and condiments on offer this time of year is vast. To create a magnificent spread you need do little more than stick a few jars of pickles out on the table with some cheese, crackers and a plate of cold meat. What's not to love?
While buffet is the primary target for Christmas leftovers, if you really do have a surfeit of veg, or you simply can’t wait to get back in the kitchen, here are a few ideas to try...
I know, I know, it’s not exactly cooking. But festive flavours are big business in the pre-packaged sandwich world, and they’re even better made fresh at home. From traditional classics like sausage & stuffing between a couple of slices of farmhouse white, to tortilla wraps with turkey, brie & cranberry, just chop your leftovers into appropriate sized pieces, wrap in large amounts of bread, and serve. Soaking your bread in gravy first is optional, yet delicious.
Bubble & Squeak
Bubble and squeak is the art of mashing up all your cold leftover veg and frying it up into a big cake. Anything goes, spuds, parsnips, carrots, cabbage, sprouts are all fair game. As long as they’re cooked and soft enough to be mashed with a spoon, they’re going in. You can also chuck in some leftover meat or bacon, if you’re that way inclined. Shape into a big lumpy ball, and shallow fry for a few minutes on each side. Serve with a fried egg, and loads of ketchup. Nothing destroys a hangover quite like it.
Thai Turkey Curry
While Bridget Jones's Diary may have put you off the idea of turkey curry for life, it is actually a great way to use up veg such as carrots, green beans, cabbage or even sprouts, as well as any spare bits of turkey or chicken you have left. Fry some Thai curry paste in a pan, add some cooked shredded meat and the veg, throw in half a tin of coconut milk, serve with chapatis and you have yourself a pretty decent leftover dinner. Sadly I can’t promise Colin Firth in a reindeer jumper to share it with you.
The great thing about risotto, all year round, is that it legitimises usually ridiculous ingredient combinations. This is no exception at Christmas. Caramelise whatever veg you have, throw in whichever bits of meat you have left, be generous with the wine and parmesan, and your festive risotto will be deemed a success.
Christmas pudding cake pops
Ok, this one is a joke. Though, by all means, if your Christmas went a little too smoothly and you have a day to spare standing in the kitchen, clutching a brandy, and sobbing into a bowl of melted chocolate and cake crumbs, I'm sure leftover Christmas pud would make excellent cake pops. Alternatively, you could do what everyone else does: crumble your leftover Christmas pudding, Christmas cake or mince pies into a bowl full of ice cream and call it dessert.
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