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Stop! Don’t Throw Out Those Christmas Leftovers

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The festive season is well underway and you’ve already eaten enough to feed a small village. But well-meaning friends and family continue bringing dishes to Christmas gatherings. Meanwhile, your fridge has run out of space.

What do you do?

For starters, don’t throw anything away. You can make a tasty meal out of your Christmas leftovers, or freeze them and reuse them for new offerings for New Year’s parties.

Here’s a list of simple and quick recipes you can make from your Christmas leftovers.

Ham, broccoli and cheese quiche

Holiday ham is a must at Christmas dinners. Luckily, there are several ways you can repurpose it – ham sandwiches, stews and soups come to mind. But why not try making a quiche out of leftover ham and shredded cheese?

Ingredients:

  • 9-inch frozen deep-dish pie crust
  • Head of broccoli, split into florets
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 150g of ham, diced
  • 125g of shredded cheddar
  • 230ml of milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Ground pepper and smoked paprika to taste
  • A sprinkling of chopped chives

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 175°C.

2. Press pie crust into 9-inch dish and set aside.

3. Steam broccoli until soft and cooked through. Alternatively, you can cook it in a microwave in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap. Do this at 1-minute intervals for 5 minutes on the high setting.

4. Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté onion and garlic until soft and translucent.

5. Add ham and broccoli. Mix well and add to pie crust.

6. Mix cheese, eggs, milk and pepper in a bowl. Add the mixture to broccoli and ham. Sprinkle paprika and chives on top.

7. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre of the quiche comes out clean.

Turkey and potato salad

Defrost some leftover Christmas turkey, shred it into small pieces and add it to a potato salad. Whip up this easy dish for a last-minute New Year’s soirée.

Ingredients (5 servings):

  • 5 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, diced
  • 200g of shredded turkey (you can add more turkey, or replace with diced Christmas ham)
  • 1/2 Japanese cucumber, diced
  • Small red onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (you can add more for a tangier flavour)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Boil potatoes until soft. Drain and let cool.

2. Mix together all ingredients (except for lemon juice, salt and ground pepper) until potatoes form a slightly creamy texture.

3. Add lemon juice, salt and ground pepper. Adjust amounts for the desired flavour.

4. Chill for at least 5 hours and serve.

Roast beef sandwich with provolone cheese

There is nothing like a hot roast beef sandwich with melted provolone cheese on a freshly toasted baguette. Add a dash of mustard and some caramelised onions for a mouth-watering lunch.

Ingredients (1 sandwich):

  • 1/2 baguette, sliced lengthwise
  • 120g of leftover roast beef sliced thinly and warmed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese, cut in halves
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (you can use canned peppers)
  • Brown onion halved and thinly sliced
  • Tablespoon of olive oil
  • Tablespoon of butter
  • Tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Lettuce or arugula (optional)

Instructions for caramelised onions:

1. Heat oil and butter in a skillet on medium to high heat.

2. Add onions and sugar. Cook until soft, stirring every 5 minutes.

3. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until onions are soft, medium brown with a jam-like consistency. Stir every few minutes. If they start to stick to the bottom of the skillet add a dash of water and stir, scraping the onions off the bottom. Be careful not to burn the onions – cook on a low heat and stir frequently.

Instructions for sandwich:

1. Spread mayonnaise on the inside of baguette. Layer roast beef and cheese, and top with peppers.

2. Add jalapeno peppers and caramelised onions.

3. Toast in pre-oven at 160°C for 4 minutes to melt the cheese and to warm the baguette.

4. Serve with optional lettuce or arugula.

Gingerbread cheesecake bars

Don’t know what to do with all those gingerbread men? You can use them as a base for cheesecake bars. Serving cheesecake in bite-sized portions makes for a delicious New Year’s party snack.

Ingredients:

  • 340g gingerbread men (you can use ginger snaps)
  • 55g unsalted butter
  • 340g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 140g sugar
  • Large egg, beaten
  • Large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons of sour cream
  • Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of candied ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Coat a 13-inch baking sheet with butter.

2. Place gingerbread men into food processor and pulse into a fine crumb. Mix crumbs with melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of baking sheet. Bake crust for 10 minutes or until firm. Let cool.

3. Mix cream cheese in a stand mixer until soft. Stir in beaten egg, egg yolk, sugar, sour cream, cinnamon and vanilla extract until evenly incorporated.

4. Pour cream cheese mixture onto the crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until mixture is slightly firm but not brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover the baking sheet in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour to set. To serve, cut the cheesecake into squares.

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