If you have been entertaining this Christmas, or entertaining a large family and you are anything like me, your fridge will be packed with Christmas left overs. It is important that you freeze things within 48 hours, if that is your intention, as meat, especially, will only last 2 or 3 days in the fridge. I freeze my meat in 2 meal portions, and make sure it is well wrapped so that it doesn’t get freezer burn. It will last in the freezer for up to 6 months without deteriorating. It is a good idea to label it with what it is, and the date. There have been a few times when I have thought that the bag of stewed apple was actually turkey stew.
Cheese is the thing that I have loads of left. Hard cheese will last quite a while in the fridge but soft cheese should be eaten within 2 weeks. I will keep picking at the hard cheeses eg cheddar and red Leicester, though, if I leave them in the fridge, and so I intend to grate mine up today and store it in bags or boxes in the freezer. I use it straight from the freezer over the next couple of months in sauces for things like lasagne, for cheese on toast, macaroni cheese, or on pizza. I also freeze cream or make butter with it so that Mr S doesn’t keep putting it in his coffee, or I if I have condensed milk I make ice cream with it.
If you are reheating any cooked food it is important that it reaches 70⁰C. We bought a food probe for about a fiver and use it all the time to ensure things are cooked and safe. I don’t want to get food poisoning and so I never warm things up more than once.
Things like Christmas pudding will be fine if covered for months, as will mincemeat. We put mincemeat into apple pies, flapjack, bread and butter pudding or just have an out of season mince pie with custard.
Some of the things that we have made in the past from Christmas left overs are
- Toad in the hole with sausages, pigs in blankets in, or stuffing balls.
- Turkey curry
- Turkey stew
- Stilton and cranberry puffs made with puff pastry.
- Turkey pasta
- Turkey potato bake ( layers of sliced potato with turkey and leeks in a white sauce)
- Turkey and ham cottage pie
- Pigs in blankets and vegetable tray bake.
- Macaroni cheese with ham in it
- Bubble and squeak
- Christmas Dinner pasties (with bits of the whole turkey dinner in).
- Turkey supreme and rice.
- Soup made with the and turkey bones and left over veg
- cheese and cranberry toasted sandwiches
- Turkey stir fry
- Turkey salad
- Turkey pizza
- Moroccan spiced turkey stew with rice
- Spanish omelette (sliced roast potatoes in it)
- Pasta bake with turkey and cheese scraps
- French panettone toast
- Sprout pesto
- Spicy turkey savoury rice
- Vegetable Dahl
- Chicken fajitas
What are your favourite dishes that you make with Christmas left overs?
I am getting to the stage that I feel like I have a hang over with all the rich food and I just want some clean, healthy food. I therefore made myself a fruit smoothie this morning with some of my frozen home grown fruit. It was lovely. I hope that your Christmas went well. I have stored lots of the cheap vegetables in cardboard boxes in my conservatory, which is quite cool in temperature during the winter, (unless I keep the door open and let the kitchen wood burner warm it up), and these should last me a couple of months. I have also managed to grab some half price Christmas puddings and mince meat when the shops opened so that we are sorted for Christmas next year. I usually have a no spend February and only buy bargains in January and so all the left overs and vegetables that I have frozen and stored will hopefully keep us going until March. I will do a post about budgeting sometime in the next week, and also one about setting New Year financial goals.