Christmas Leftovers – part 1. Soup, a Turkey & Cranberry Toast Topper, a Cheesy Tart
So there you are, a few days after Christmas Day. Don’t know about you, but I’m drawing breath right about now and sticking my head in the fridge wondering what I’m going to make with all those wonderful Christmas Leftovers
a few turkey bones
Last year, I had a little potter in the kitchen and came up with this. I’d already used the turkey carcass to make turkey stock and a soup that became a stew. There were some leg bones in the fridge, and they had already been made into stock. This morning a whip round the fridge produced half a tin of baked beans, a tbslp of curried hummous, 3 carrots that needed using, some of the cooked apples that I keep in the fridge for using with yogurt, an onion, a couple of handfuls of a bag of salad (one of the most wasted food items) and a small potato. I picked all the meat off the bones, got a nice amount, chopped anything that needed it and put everything in the stock, plus a generous mug of split peas.
That all got simmered until the split peas were cooked, then I added the shredded heart of a savoy cabbage, and on a whim, poured in about a third of a bag of fresh cranberries, a small tea cup of grated parmesan rind from the freezer, then simmered again until the cabbage and cranberries were soft, seasoned, and ooh yum – several portions of delicious home made soup. Sour pops from the cranberries and an underlying sweetness from the apple, all shot through with the wonderful brothy hum of a good stock.
a turkey & cranberry toast topper
while the soup was simmering, I thought I’d have a go at a toast and lunchtime paste, like the chicken, beef, cheese and fish ones that I’d explored previously. So using the same proportions, I got some turkey out of the freezer, this is what I ended up using.
150g cooked turkey
50g butter, 90p/250g, 18p
50g fresh cranberries
about an apples worth of cooked slices from the fridge, and some of the juice
2 tsp honey
a piece of preserved lemon
Put everything in a jug and blitz it until smooth with a handheld blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper
I wanted a little sweetness in there, so added some of the cooked apples that are in the fridge to have at breakfast with yogurt, plus some of the juice as the paste needed some liquid in order to be blended. After I’d added the cranberries, there was a little too much tartness, so I added the honey. I have been given several lovely honeys, so thought I’d use some here. That made the balance just right.
This was going to be the one that I said carried on the lovely Christmas flavours, but strangely, it doesn’t taste of Christmas at all. Perhaps it might with the addition of a little cooked stuffing, or sage leaves, and maybe some cooked onion.
Other things that I would add to a turkey paste, especially with an eye on any leftovers, include a drizzle of cream; 2 or 3 chopped dried apricots; a bit of leftover sausage meat stuffing, or a couple of pigs in blankets; a bit of cooked ham; 2 or 3 prunes; a spoon or two of bread sauce or cranberry sauce; some celery, probably sautéd until soft first; any type of mustard; some tomato purée, not too much, or sun dried ones;
what to with that leftover cheese board?
It’s extremely easy to buy much more cheese than gets eaten for a Christmas cheeseboard and cheese is high on the Christmas Leftovers list. So now you might have left, wedges of Stilton, Brie, cheddar and a goats cheese, with just small amounts eaten from them.
The very first paste I experimented with was a cheese one, I took some plain cheese and added butter and flavourings to make a versatile paste that can be used on toast, in a sandwich, toasted under the grill, or inside a cheese toastie. That post has a great many variations to flavour your paste.
Put all the cheese in the freezer, well wrapped, and we’ll use it up as we go along. Stilton would make a fabulous paste for lunchtime sandwiches.
Or how about a cheesey tart for lunch or dinner. Rollout some puff pastry and cut a small dinner plate/large tea plate sized shape for each person, or put the rolled out sheet straight on a baking tray. Now spread over a very thin layer of mild mustard and top with some of your Christmas cheese, just a sprinkle, not too much. I tried it with Roquefort, a strong blue one, and it cooked to beautiful unctuousness that was much milder than its uncooked state. One of these with some dressed leaves or some other salad, makes a very satisfying meal and is super simple to make as well. If you have littlies, they can help with this and would probably love cutting out little shapes. So they could have star shaped, top of a glass shaped, or any biscuit cutter shaped cheese tartlets
I wrote a guest post for Skint Dad that was published yesterday. That has lots more ideas on using up your leftovers. I’m freezing most things until I can use them, and that might be all you need to do. More ideas to come tomorrow. What are you doing with yours?
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 budget meal plans, most are cheap meals for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are cheap family meals for 4 people, or meals for one