Christmas comes with such a great flurry of culinary activity and joy, then it’s over and those left-overs can hang on and on.
Here are some ideas to help you transform ham, pork, turkey, chicken, salmon and vegetables into new meals.
- Mix up an Asian style dressing with lime juice, fish sauce, a little palm sugar, finely chopped fresh chilli, plus lots of chopped mint and coriander to toss through diced turkey or salmon. Add some bean thread noodles for texture and serve in lettuce cups. You can also do this with left-over salmon.
- Stuff a split pide with sliced turkey or ham, avocado and tomato.
- Toss warm cooked chat potatoes with chopped ham and a mustardy dressing.
- Make a Spanish omelette by combining lightly beaten eggs with ham chunks, a few semi-dried tomatoes, olives and chopped parsley. Pour into a large frying pan and cook over low heat until just set. Finish under a hot grill and serve in generous wedges with salad or smaller squares with a drink.
- Fill crepes with turkey, ham and mushrooms in light cheese sauce.
- Grab a sheet of puff pastry from the freezer for a quick freeform quiche. Place the pastry on a baking sheet, crimp to create a 1cm pie edge, pour over beaten egg, top with a few spoonfuls of ricotta, diced ham or salmon and a generous sprinkle of thyme. Bake until crisp.
- Toss ham strips through just drained pasta and mix with beaten eggs, finely grated parmesan and lots of black pepper for a speedy pasta carbonara. I like to add a little chilli for bite. Recipe here.
- Combine chunks of chicken and ham with wilted leeks, spinach and a little cream, top with mashed potato and bake until golden.
- Add sliced ham or turkey to an American-style chef’s salad with quartered hard-boiled eggs, baby cos leaves, cherry tomatoes and avocado.
- Transform leftover steamed rice and diced ham into Chinese fried rice. In a hot wok toss ham with frozen peas and sliced green shallots. Add rice and mix until heated through. At the last moment, add omelette strips, a few drops of sesame oil and a sprinkle of soy sauce for authenticity.
- Stuff croissants with sliced ham and cheese and grill until the cheese melts. Serve hot with a salad.
- Jazz up a risotto bianco with ham, chicken, turkey or left-over seafood. Add mushrooms too and, just before serving, stir through some rocket or spinach until wilted.
Blend your leftover roast pumpkin, potatoes and sweet potatoes with chicken or vegetable stock to make a chunky veg soup. Top with any leftover herbs you have from Christmas cooking. Roast veg also makes for an easy frittata or quiche – all you need are eggs and cream or milk .as above. Herbs and leftover cheese grated from your cheese platter wouldn’t go astray in here either!
Leftover Roast or Poached Salmon
Flake leftover fish and remove all bones. For fish patties, add a cup of your leftover mashed potatoes, 2 eggs and leftover herbs (dill, parsley or coriander would be fab). Shape into patties, dip into flour, egg wash, panko breadcrumbs and fry until golden and cooked. You can also add leftover flaked fish to pasta or rice salads or stir through scrambled eggs for a luxe experience.
Leftover Ham/Turkey/Roast Beef
There’s more to your leftover Christmas roasts than just sandwiches, salads and wraps (although those are fabulous too!) You can reinvent your turkey with a turkey curry, dice your ham to use in fried rice or thinly slice beef to wrap around lightly steamed veggies for a great picnic treat? Don’t forget to use your leftover bones to create beautiful homemade stocks which you can freeze for future use.
Freeze any leftover brioche or similar sweet breads (such as panettone or croissants) to make bread and butter puddings.
Don’t forget! You can also freeze leftover wine, homemade stocks and herbs from your Christmas events for future meals.
Lyndey Milan’s Recipes
Pea & Ham Patties recipe
500g ham off the bone, finely chopped
475g mashed potato (purchased or home-made)
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 ½ cups (180g) frozen baby peas, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley
1 tablespoon dijonaise, plus extra to serve
3 green onions (shallots), finely sliced
2 tablespoons plain flour, plus extra to dust
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
baby rocket, to serve
1 Combine all ingredients except oil in a large bowl. Season with pepper.
2 With wet hands, shape ½ cups of mixture into round patties. Dust in flour and set aside.
3 Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan on medium-high. Cook patties, in batches, for 2-3 mins each side, until golden and warmed through, adding more oil as you go.
4 Serve with extra Dijonaise and baby rocket.
Lyndey’s Note: Patties often hold together better if they are refrigerated for 30 mins prior to cooking
Turkey, artichoke & balsamic onion salad
2 baby cos lettuce
2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained, rinsed
5 artichoke hearts, halved
600g cooked turkey, skin removed, sliced
½ x 290g jar balsamic onions, halved
½ cup (50g) walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup (100g) whole egg mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, mint)
2 teaspoons (10ml) lemon juice
1/4 preserved lemon, skin only, finely chopped
1 To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a jug with 1 tbsp water and mix well with a fork.
2 Lay lettuce leaves on a large platter. Top with remaining ingredients and drizzle with dressing.
Lyndey’s Note: Preserved lemons are available in supermarkets and delis. Or replace with the zest of a fresh lemon. Whole egg mayonnaise can be turned into many different sauces and dressings e.g. add finely chopped French shallot, capers, cornichons, chives and parsley to make tartare sauce.
Artichoke hearts are available packed in oil and herbs in jars, canned in brine or can be bought from the deli section of the supermarket. Take your pick!
Tinned beans and pulses are a wonderful pantry staple, healthy and versatile.