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Forget About Sandwiches and Make the Most of Your Christmas Leftovers

Every house has their own Christmas traditions, especially when it comes to food. Whether you serve sprouts or sausage meat, cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly there is one universal factor to all of our Christmas meals – leftovers. Perhaps it is inherited from our Irish mammies who like to serve enough food to feed an entire village but we all seem to wake up on St. Stephen’s day with a mountain of food left.

You can’t beat a good turkey & ham sandwich the day after but, in my house, they rarely use up all of the leftover meat. This year TheTaste wants you to make the most of all that great food and make sure nothing goes to waste. Here is some inspiration for your Christmas leftovers.

Whether you cook a crown, an entire bird or get it rolled and boned, roast turkey is a great base for Winter warming dishes. Try it in a classic Christmas leftover curry or use up your ham too in a creamy pie. Check out our Turkey Satay Noodles recipe by Neven Maguire for a leftover meal with a twist.

Leftover ham is one of the best things to come out of Christmas! Salty, smoked, glazed or cured, ham can replace bacon in any of your favourite dishes and is particularly handy for pasta dishes, omelettes, pies and soups. We love this idea of a Christmas ham pizza, perfect for the kids!

Bulk up your turkey curry with some potatoes or combine them with herbs, scallions and some mayonnaise or salad cream to make a potato salad. Chop them up small and they are perfect in a Spanish Tortilla or homemade hash with some of that ham. Leftover mash is perfect for fish cakes, croquettes or a traditional colcannon or potato farl.

As a side dish, leftover vegetables are already pretty versatile. Make the most of your cabbage in colcannon and turn your sprouts into an irresistible bake with a creamy sauce and a crispy topping. Most of your veg can be blitzed with some stock to make delicious soups or sweated down to make Jamie Oliver’s Leftover Lasagne.

Smoked Salmon
There usually isn’t any salmon left in my house by St. Stephen’s Day but if for some reason you do find yourself with some, chop it up into small pieces and combine it with eggs for a posh omelette or a decadent Spanish Tortilla. For a quick fix that will wow your guests over the party season, try this paté over crunchy crostini.

Cranberry Sauce
The sweetness of cranberry is perfect for sweet breads and desserts and these are a great way of finishing the jar of sauce that will otherwise sit in your fridge until next year. Classic combinations use it with chocolate in brownies and with banana and walnut in breads and muffins.

It might seem a bit frugal to hold on to your gravy but with so much attention on food waste at the moment we don’t want anything thrown out! Freeze yours in an ice cube tray and transform it into stock cubes or use it as a base for soups or a hearty Shepherd’s Pie.

Some stuffing won’t work for every recipe depending on its ingredients and flavours but if you liked it with Christmas dinner then chances are you will enjoy it in these leftover recipes! Add mash, peas and carrots for veggie burgers or add some oil, butter or cheese for stuffed mushrooms or a crispy crust for pies and bakes.

Maybe it’s a generational thing but the Christmas Pudding seems to have been losing its star billing recently. Reinvent the leftover pud by using it in sundaes and trifles. Take it further with this great recipe for Toffee Pudding Bombs by Donal Skehan.



BioAlison has been writing since she could hold a pen, which came in handy for her degree in English, Media and Cultural Studies. She has been working in media since graduating and is a features writer for TheTaste.

Writing for TheTaste allows her to combine her passion for the written word with her love of food and drink. Find her on Twitter @AliDalyo

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