Just After Christmas ~ the Biggest Leftover-Fest of the Year!

OK chaps, time to stop lying around the place, let’s get to it.


This is the biggest leftover fest of the year; something that I and other food writers always bang on about just after Christmas but, you know, every little helps especially when it comes to help with eating really well!

Here are some ideas ...

Leftover Turkey

Firstly remove all the good usable meat from the turkey and use it in one of the following ways.

Turkey Fritters / Rissoles / Cakes

Finely chop leftover turkey and mix with leftover mashed potato. Form into cakes and shallow fry till crisp.

Turkey Curry 

... but not necessarily as you know it, Jim – see here for a quick, easy and different recipe. 

Turkey Sandwiches 

Obviously, with added stuffing and cranberry sauce OR they are good with  cranberry and Brie OR, as in this case, with roasted butternut squash.


Turkey Carcass

See here for  how to use every part of a chicken and act appropriately. Then maybe make some ...

Turkey Soup

I like to make this with leeks but onions work well too.
1 large leek or onion
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
2 large potatoes
turkey stock
reserved turkey scraps

~   Toss the leek or onion in the oil in a soup making sized pan over low heat.  Press a butter wrapper or piece of foil directly on top without burning yourself.  Cover the pan and cook gently till very tender.
~   Peel and thinly slice the potatoes and add to the pot.
~   Pour over just enough stock to cover the potatoes, bring to a boil, turn back to a simmer, cover the pot and cook till tender.
~   Mash the potatoes into the broth or you could run through the food processor for a smoother finish.
~   Add some cream if you wish. 
~   Taste, season and only now add the turkey scraps to the hot soup just to heat through.


Leftover Gravy

~   This freezes well and, in fact, if you are also freezing some turkey meat it will fare particularly well if you freeze it in the gravy.

~   Stir leftover gravy into the soup above or use it in a turkey pie.

~   If your gravy is particularly delicious (and I trust that it is – if not see here to ensure that it is superb next time you make some) then serve hot as a dipping gravy – maybe alongside the turkey sarnies.

Leftover Stuffing

Boxing Day Fritters

Roll leftover stuffing into balls, flatten and put a spoonful of cranberry sauce in the middle, reform the ball enclosing the cranberry sauce completely. Dip in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and deep fry till hot, crisp and golden. Eat carefully as the cranberry will be very hot OR, if you’re scared of hot sauce, form the stuffing into cakes, fry till crisp and serve with cranberry sauce.

Make stuffing balls or sausage shapes and use instead of real sausages in Toad in the Hole. 

Add to turkey pies, sandwiches etc.

Leftover Bread Sauce

~   Another thing that is good to add to turkey sandwiches.

Bread Sauce Stuffed Mushrooms

Remove the stems from large open mushrooms and brush inside and out with oil. Fill with the bread sauce, sprinkle with soft fresh breadcrumbs and bake at 400ºF/200ºC/180C fan/gas 6 for 15-20 minutes till hot through and the top is crisp and golden. These are extra good drizzled with balsamic glaze.

General Christmas Leftovers

Christmas Pie

Turkey, gravy, stuffing balls, sausage-meat etc. topped with pastry or mash.

Bubble and Squeak

In short fry leftover potatoes together with other leftover veggies in a little oil till hot all through and with a crisp crust.  The secret (not really, you can tell anyone) to this is to let everything sit for a while over the heat before disturbing it to allow the crust form. You could add leftover sausage, turkey, ham, stuffing and/or top with a fried egg.

Make an Après Christmas Pizza with all the leftovers! If you feel cheese is needed then Brie is probably your best bet.

Leftover Christmas Pud

Fry thick slices of leftover Christmas Pudding in butter to reheat luxuriously. Serve with custard, cream or ice cream or, if it is still the season of goodwill, all three.

Christmas Pudding Sauce

Melt a knob of butter and a spoonful of brown sugar. Stir in crumbled Christmas pudding plus Brandy or Rum to taste and serve with ice cream

Make the best Christmas Pudding Ice Cream I know!


Leftover Panettone & Stollen

These both make very good bread and butter pudding or manly bread pudding  or see here for a wonderful quick way to use Stollen. Actually it doesn't have to be "leftover" Stollen,  you could buy it on purpose!

A couple of days ago I hit upon the most perfect breakfast ever – Stollen gently fried in butter and topped, in this case, with thick brandied cream (although I think other creams such as double or clotted would work well too).

Panettone makes good French Toast.

See here for how to make French Toast and ignore the bit about coating in panko crumbs, if you like!

There are lots and lots more ideas for almost every leftover you can think of in "Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers" which, like a dog, is not just for Christmas!

Have a Look Inside here.

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