Christmas Leftover Time!

I am having the day off to rest and recover from all the cooking and eating yesterday, but I have cooked a few things in the past that are great for using leftovers, either just as they are, or with a bit of adapting (some of the recipes use minced raw meat, but if you chop your cooked meat and reduce the cooking time, you should be able to make them work for you.  So if you find yourself with huge piles of leftover meats and seasonal goodies, have a look at these recipes:

 

Ham

Gluten free Caesar Salad

Gluten free potato, ham and cheese pizza

Gluten free crustless quiche

Susan’s Cheat’s Carbonara

Turkey

Gluten free Turkey Sausage Rolls

Turkey Risotto

Turkey meatballs

Pork

Gluten free pork sausage rolls

Roast Pork Pastie

Cranberries/cranberry sauce

White chocolate, cranberry & pistachio bark

Cranberry and pistachio cupcakes

Sausages in cranberry sauce

Picnic chicken

Sausages in cranberry sauce

It’s difficult to make sausages look pretty, so this was the best I could do.

 

This recipe is something I’ve devised to use some of that cranberry sauce you have left over from Christmas.   The one I use has the consistency of a jam (a jelly to our American friends).  You can vary the vegetables to use what you have one hand, I like a bit of green veg in there to contrast with the other colours.

Sausages in cranberry sauce

Sausages in cranberry sauce

Sausages in cranberry sauce

 

Olive oil, to fry

10 thin sausages

One large onion, halved and sliced

Two carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (about 1-2 cm each)

Half to one cup of green vegetables – here I have used zucchini and green capsicum

4 tbsp cranberry sauce

1/2 cup red wine

1 cup stock

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tbsp cornflour mixed with a further 1/2 cup of stock, to thicken

Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan and brown the sausages, they don’t have to be cooked through.  Take out of pan and fry onion and carrot, adding more oil (sparingly) if necessary.  Cut the sausages into 2cm lengths and return to pan when onion and carrot have softened a little.  Add sauce, wine and stock.  Bring to boil, stir through the green veg, then reduce to a simmer and put the lid on the pot.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Uncover, thicken with the cornflour mixture, turn up the heat so it is a fast simmer for a further five minutes, then serve.

 

Christmas Leftover Time – Turkey Risotto

It’s that time of year again, when there are heaps of leftover bits and pieces in the fridge, and no-one really wants another “Christmas Dinner”.  Last night we had Carbonara with leftover ham, so even though we had a “new” dinner, I still got to use some of the leftovers.  Tonight, I adapted my Chicken and Capsicum Risotto recipe to use the last bits of turkey instead of chicken.  I won’t post the recipe again, just a picture of the finished result:

Turkey Risotto

Turkey Risotto

 

Tomorrow night I am going to cook some of the excess sausages from our Boxing Day BBQ with the leftover cranberry sauce – I will post that recipe as soon as I get time.

Susan’s Cheat’s Carbonara

Ok, so once again I have forgotten to take something out of the freezer.  I can’t be bothered fighting the traffic to go and get takeaway, and because of the sparse population in our area, the only fast food places that deliver are pizza.  What to cook for dinner?

Pasta is the obvious answer as it is quick to prepare.  The longest part of the process seems to be waiting for the water to boil.  A tip I have been told is not to salt the water until it comes to the boil.  Apparently if you put salt in cold water it takes longer to boil, so you put it in when the water is boiling, just before you put the pasta in.  Does it work?  I don’t know, but I am sure it can’t hurt, so that’s what I do.

What sauce to make?  I like a Carbonara, but to be honest it always tastes a bit fatty with bacon, plus you have to cook the garlic and bacon, which is an extra process and means you have a frypan as well as a pasta pot to wash up afterwards.  Also, the cream is a bit heavy, I wanted a slightly lower fat version.  So – how can you cheat at Carbonara without compromising taste?  We all loved this, unfortunately we loved it so much there weren’t any leftovers for lunch the next day, so it wasn’t all win-win!  The beauty of it is, there was only the pasta pot and a small mixing bowl involved, so it was a nice, lazy clean up as well.

 

Susan’s Cheat’s Carbonara – Serves 4 (if you are lucky!)

Lower in fat than traditional Carbonara, and a lot easier too!

Lower in fat than traditional Carbonara, and a lot easier too!

4 eggs

1 tsp cornflour

1/2 cup low fat milk

2 slices of your favourite ham (I like Gypsy Ham for the smoky flavour, but any ham that comes in big slices will do – you can use more if you like), chopped

Pinch of salt for the sauce, plus a generous pinch for the pasta pot

2 tsp dried granulated garlic

2 tsp dried parsley

A small handful of grated low fat tasty cheese

500g packet of pasta (you can use gluten free pasta too, so long as your cornflour is gluten free and not wheaten cornflour this recipe is gluten free)

Parmesan cheese to serve

Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta.  Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then slowly add the cornflour.  Squash out any lumps that form before adding milk, ham, salt, garlic, parsley and cheese.  When pasta is cooked (try a piece to be sure) drain and return to pot.  Put pot back on low heat, pour in egg mix and stir through until it has cooked and is heated through and the sauce has thickened and is clinging to the pasta.

If you want to garnish the pasta, you could slice some green ends of spring onions finely, or use some fresh parsley.  Serve with parmesan.

Christmas in July Part Three – leftovers! (Roast Pork Pastie)

Santa, please stop here....

Santa, please stop here….

 

My last word on Christmas in July for this year – just like ‘real’ Christmas, there are leftovers!  There are stacks of ideas of things to do with them all, but here is one very simple one – the pastie.  Keep them in the fridge, or freeze them, and have a “night off” from cooking one night during the week.

Roast Pork Pastie

Roast Pork Pastie

I took all the leftover pork and applesauce, I had one beet left over and some gravy which had thickened up a lot in the fridge.  I chopped the pork and beetroot finely, mixed in the applesauce and cold gravy, and added a little extra salt, pepper and crumbled sage.  I then took four sheets of puff pastry, and divided the mix up, folding them over and sealing the edges together.  Instead of an egg wash, I sprayed the tops of the pasties once they were on the baking tray, and baked them for about half an hour (they were very big!) in a 180 degree celcius oven.

 

Not really a recipe, just an idea.

 

Next step for me is firing up the “flame thrower” and making some brulee!  My house insurance is paid up, so away I go!