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What to do with the Christmas Leftovers

Friday, December 26, 2014

After the enormous build-up and the madness in the lead-up to that big day in December, Boxing Day is a time to relax, eat leftovers and just chill out. The television will be hosting the cricket test or the Sydney to Hobart yacht race or both. Most people are exhausted after all the cheer of Christmas Day. No-one really wants to cook so we look to the fridge for inspiration with the leftovers! Here are 20 ideas to inspire you to make something else besides that toasted ham sandwich!

1. Freshly made gourmet sandwiches using leftover turkey, beef or ham and salad usually does the trick for lunch or supper. 

2. Curries – add the chopped up meat to a curry sauce. Add vegies and you have a ready-made meal!

3. Summer berries with yoghurt or ice cream.

4. Add the leftover fruit to smoothies or shakes. Or even freeze some in your smoothie packs!

5. Cheese and Ham twists – just add ham, cheese and mustard to puff pastry. Roll, cut and twist pastry. Place in heated oven (200 degrees). Bake for 12-15 mins. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm. These are great for picnic lunches at the beach, snacks for hungry children and teens, or an impromptu brunch with unexpected visitors.

6. Add the turkey to your choice of pasta and sauce and you have Turkey Carbonara. Or use the ham for a more classic carbonara dish!

7. Stir fries – add chopped vegetables to noodles and your favourite sauce.

8. Christmas pudding trifle – add the Christmas pudding slices to the base of a trifle dish and then layer on fruit, jelly and custard! Long live the pudding!

9. Quesadillas – add cheese and vegies and meats/seafood of your choice between 2 tortillas. Toast or fry in pan until cheese is melted. Delish!

10. Chicken sweet corn and rice soup – shred leftover chicken for this soup.

11. Fried Rice - Leftover turkey and chicken are delicious in fried rice, as the meat absorbs the flavours of the sauce. Add a few fresh veggies and a sprinkling of fresh coriander to completely re-invent the dish.

12. Christmas ham and/or chicken is a great addition to a homemade pizza, especially when teamed up with fresh mozzarella, vine ripened tomatoes and a scattering of basil.

13. Use your leftover meat to make a spicy filling for tacos. Simply shred the meat and add to a spicy sauce, giving it plenty of time to soak up all the flavours. Serve with warm tortillas, sour cream and a punchy salsa.

14. Leftover roast pumpkin is ideal in salads, especially when paired up with feta cheese and baby spinach.

15. Make a simple roast vegetable lasagne to turn all your veggies into a delicious and filling meal to serve the next day.

16. Crumble up any leftover Christmas cake and make another batch of rum balls to store in the freezer for later.

17. Leftover mince pies can be turned into Christmas ice cream. Soften a tub of vanilla ice cream then add crumbled mince pies. Stir through and return to freezer. It’s even better the next day when the ice cream has had time to soak up all those Christmas flavours.

18. Leftover bubbly can be turned into white sangria. Pour any leftover bubbly or white wine into a jug and top with chunks of fruit – cherries, apples and oranges are fabulous in sangria! Add ice and enjoy!

19. Leftover roast potatoes can be turned into a delicious Spanish tortilla. Slice the potatoes. Heat an oven-proof pan on med heat. Add oil. Warm the potatoes up in the oil, then add 5-6 eggs, lightly beaten with plenty of salt and pepper, to the pan. Turn the heat down to med-low and cook for about 8 mins, until the base has cooked. Meanwhile heat the grill. Put a plate over the pan and carefully flip the tortilla out, then slide back into the pan. Place the pan under the grill to cook the top, approx. 5 minutes. Slide out from the pan and cut into wedges. It’s delicious hot or cold.

20. Leftover cheese plate can become cheesy flatbreads. Take a large naan bread or pita bread and spread slices of cheese from your leftover cheese plate. Dot with pesto or caramelised onions, sprinkle with fennel seeds and bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped coriander. Cut into wedges and serve.

Leftovers never looked so good!