Our mouths are watering (Picture: Ocado)
The family members have finally headed back to their own homes, but you’ve got mountains of food leftover and you’re sick of Christmas dinner.
Nearly half of the UK admit to feeling fed up of festive leftovers – and we can’t blame them.
Turkey, sprouts and Christmas cake were the top culprits that Brits decided they just couldn’t stomach anymore of, according to a survey by Ocado.
Brits actually consume an average of four leftover Christmas sandwiches during the twixmas period, so it’s unsurprising that festive food fatigue kicks in before long.
In fact, 21% of us throw away our leftovers because we simply don’t know what to do with them anymore.
So how do you give your leftovers a new lease of life that doesn’t feel like a Christmas dinner on repeat?
We aren’t talking a Christmas dinner sarnie or a buffet. No, no, no. Say goodbye to the ho ho ho with these recipe recommendations from Ocado’s food expert, Laura Rowe.
Christmas Stuffing Cannelloni
An Italian twist (Picture: Ocado)
We all have a soft spot for Boxing Day sandwiches, but when we’re tired of bread, it’s time to mix things up. From rice to pasta, polenta, to couscous, variety is key!
This Christmas Stuffing Cannelloni dish by Lisa Faulkner lets you revamp leftover stuffing into a moreish bake with a creamy bechamel, rich tomato sauce and cheesy topping.
Christmas Stuffing Cannelloni:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
75g plain flour
1.2 L whole milk
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
340g pork, sage and onion stuffing, crumbled
100g leftover cooked leeks
40g parmesan, finely grated
16 dried cannelloni tubes , (approx. 200g)
For the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the garlic and sizzle for 20-30 secs. Add the tomatoes then half-fill the empty tin with water and add that. Season; simmer for 20-30 mins, until thickened.
Meanwhile, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the flour and whisk into a paste. Cook for 1 min, stirring, then whisk in a splash of milk until smooth and bubbling; add a little more, whisking. Repeat to use up all the milk; simmer for 5 mins, until thickened, then remove from the heat. Season and add the nutmeg, then set aside. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
Pour the tomato sauce into a baking dish that’s roughly 23 x 30cm, to cover the bottom. In a bowl, mix the stuffing with the leeks, ricotta and half the parmesan. Use a teaspoon to fill the cannelloni with the mixture, pushing it in with the handle. Put the cannelloni on top of the tomato sauce.
Pour the white sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan then cover with foil. Bake for 25 mins; uncover for a further 25-30 mins, until golden. Serve with a green salad.
Leftover Christmas Veggies Chana Masala
A yummy curry (Picture: Ocado)
With curry one of the top dishes we crave post-Christmas (27% of us were craving a curry more than any other meal!), the secret may be in the seasoning.
Swap the rosemary and thyme of your roast with the likes of cumin and coriander to really revive those taste buds.
Leftover veggies are one of the top foods we end up throwing away post-Christmas – often because we think they don’t reheat well.
For this Leftover Christmas Veggies Chana Masala, jazz up leftover sprouts, roast potatoes, parsnips (and more) for a flavour-filled vegan curry.
Leftover Chrismas Veggies Chana Masala:
1 tbsp oil, (for frying)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
1 ginger, (about an inch, grated)
1 red chili, finely sliced (remove seeds if you don’t want it to be too spicy)
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tin tomatoes,peeled
1 tin chickpeas
½ tsp garam masala
1 bunch coriander, (for the yoghurt)
1 bunch mint leaves, (for the yoghurt)
2 tbsp coconut yoghurt
1 lime, juice only (for the yoghurt)
In a dry pan, toast your spices (except the mustard seeds) until you can smell their fragrant oils.
Remove the spices and mix with the garlic, ginger, and tomato purée.
Add the oil to the pan and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the onions, chilli and a pinch of salt. Cook for 8 minutes (until they are soft and gently starting to caramelise).
Add the curry paste and cook for 5 minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-40 minutes.
Finish with the garam masala and season to taste.
Add your roast veg and heat until they are piping hot.
For the coriander and mint yogurt, add the ingredients along with a pinch of salt and sugar to a food processor or a bullet blender. Blend until smooth.
Yes please (Picture: Ocado)
We often end up with waste when we don’t have enough of one food to turn into a full meal.
Combat this by combining smaller quantities of leftovers you wouldn’t normally mix together, by creating The Cheeseboard Toastie.
The ultimate in quick and easy comfort food, this recipe by MOB Kitchen uses odds and ends from your cheeseboard as well as remaining cranberry sauce for a gooey and indulgent brunch dish.
350g leftover cheese from the cheeseboard, grated
8 slices sourdough bread
6 tbsp leftover cranberry sauce
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp butter
Put all the cheese into a large bowl and season well.
Lay out four slices of bread and cover each with a layer of the cheese, using half your cheese mix in total.
Spoon on the cranberry sauce, dolloping it onto the cheese. Add a final layer of cheese, top with the remaining four slices of bread to form a sandwich.
Now, this is the important bit: spread the top of each sandwich with ½ tbsp of mayonnaise – this is the ultimate trick to a crispy and golden toastie.
Heat 1 tbsp of butter in the base of a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry a sandwich, mayonnaise side down, for 4 mins, using a spatula to press them down so they become golden and crisp.
While it cooks, spread the top with another ½ tbsp of mayonnaise – it’s easiest to do this with the back of a tablespoon.
Flip and cook the other side for another 4 mins. Remove from the heat and repeat with the other toasties. Slice each in half and serve.
From savoury to sweet
Who says we have to wait until pancake day? (Picture: Ocado)
Christmas cake, pudding and panettone don’t have to be a standalone snack – whip them into a delicious brunch, using them as fillings or toppings for drop scones, french toast and oat bowls.
Why not try Christmas Pudding Drop Scones. Perfect for children and adults alike, these little bites by Lisa Faulkner give all the delicious flavour of a Christmas pudding but in soft pancake-like form.
Quick to rustle up, they’re ideal served with ice cream – or leftover brandy butter for the adults!
Christmas Pudding Drop Scones:
250g self-raising flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g caster sugar
1 medium egg, beaten
220ml semi-skimmed milk
30g unsalted butter
100g leftover Christmas pudding (or fruit cake), crumbled
Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda together into a medium bowl. Stir in the sugar, then make a well in the centre of the mixture. In a jug, whisk the egg and milk together, then slowly beat into the dry mix to create a smooth, thick batter. Set aside to rest for 15 mins.
Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Coat with the butter. Drop 6 individual, spaced out tbsp of the batter into the pan, then sprinkle a third of the Christmas pudding over the top. Cook for 2 mins, until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes, then flip and cook for 1 min or so, before removing them from the pan.
Repeat the process with two more batches of 6, rubbing the pan with more butter before each. Serve with your choice of toppings.
Over half of the nation has never tried freezing Christmas leftovers, but if you really need a break from festive food, don’t bin it!
There are very few Christmas leftovers that can’t be frozen, so grab some freezer-proof containers and check out our five festive foods you might not know you could freeze below.
Five festive leftovers you didn’t know you could freeze:
So what are you waiting for, banish those festive leftovers for good today!
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Say bah-humbug and get creative with your leftovers.