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Ways with Christmas leftovers

There are far too many wonderful and seasonal recipes to enjoy over just a couple of days, but buying in fresh produce on top of all the other Christmas expenses can really start to pinch. The good news is that in all likelihood, you already have a fabulous toolkit of the most delicious festive fayre in your leftovers!

When Christmas is over, long may the feasting continue. Don’t let anything go to waste and impress the in-laws with some creative Christmas cooking.

What to do with…

… leftover cranberry sauce?

Hands up – how many people actually use more than one teaspoon of cranberry sauce every twelve months? Cranberries don’t really fit with many other foods, but we can almost guarantee that you’ll have some great cheese to go with this fruity treat! Why not try a Camembert and cranberry toastie?

For one person, you’ll need:

  • 60g Camembert cheese (or brie as an alternative)
  • 2 thick slices of your favourite bread
  • 1tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 1tbsp softened butter
  • 1 dash balsamic vinegar


  • Spread butter on the outer sides of each slice of bread.
  • Evenly spread the cheese onto one slice of bread, followed by a thin layer of cranberry sauce on top. Drizzle with a few drops of balsamic vinegar, and top with the remaining slice of bread.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the sandwich for a few minutes on each side, just until golden brown. Slice in half, and eat straight away! To pep you up after feeling sluggish, a little side salad will go a long way.

… remains of the cheeseboard?

Our eyes go wide at the sight of a huge array of rich, crumbly and soft cheeses – is there anything more comforting? However, after several days of indulgence, there’s invariably several differents types of cheese that have barely been touched. You can mop up all of these with cheeseboard macaroni with a spicy crumb topping!

Ingredients (4 – 6 people):

  • 50g butter
  • 1 red onion
  • 50g plain flour
  • 450ml milk
  • 150ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 250g grated leftover cheese
  • 400g pasta
  • Breadcrumbs for topping
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes


  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, and melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat.
  • Chop the onion and cook until soft.
  • Stir in the flour and cook for a further minute.
  • Gradually add the milk, stirring continuously, until you have a smooth, thick sauce. Add the cream and cook for five more minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the mustard, 3/4 of the cheese and plenty of seasoning, turn off the heat and set aside.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente and drain well, before stirring it through the cheese sauce.
  • Pour the pasta into a greased, ovenproof dish.
  • Mix the breadcrumbs, paprika, chilli and remaining cheese and sprinkle liberally over the pasta.
  • ake for 20‑25 minutes, or until bubbling and golden.

… the turkey?

Turkey curries à la Bridget Jones’ mum have been all the rage for years, but we say that 2018 is the year for change! Comfort is key during December, so a velvety, robust pie will hit the spot on a cold day.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • Baking dish (22cm X 30cm roughly)
  • 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage , leaves picked
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 500g leeks , washed, trimmed; white end chopped into chunks, green end finely sliced
  • 800g turkey meat
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 1l stock (turkey, chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 500g puff pastry
  • 12 jarred or vacuum-packed chesntnuts
  • 1 free-range egg


  • Preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan.
  • Fry the bacon, thyme and a glug of olive oil to a pan and fry for a few minutes.
  • Add chopped leeks and fry them off for a further three minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Cover the pan with a lid, and turn the heat down to medium to let them cook away gently for half an hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Add turkey meat to them and stir, then add the flour, mixing it in well.
  • Pour in your stock and crème fraîche and stir again.
  • Bring back to a boil, and then sieve the mixture, collecting the gravy in another pan.
  • Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with a bit of flour and roll your pastry out so it’s about double the size of your dish.
  • Crumble the chestnuts over one half of the pastry then tear a few of the sage leaves on top. Fold the other half of pastry on top then roll it out carefully and evenly so you have a rectangle big enough to cover your baking tray.
  • Spoon over the pie mix and spread evenly.
  • Lay your pastry on top, tuck the ends under then gently score the pastry diagonally with your knife.
  • Paint beaten egg wash over the top of your pastry.
  • Pop your pie in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown – mm!

… Christmas pudding?

Oh, this one is naughty! Chocolate sundaes are rich enough on their own, so make sure you wear your comfiest and loosest jogging bottoms to enjoy this one!

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • Leftover Christmas pudding/cake
  • Generous amounts of brandy or Cointreau
  • 8 scoops of ice cream (stem ginger ice cream works a t)
  • 25g chopped hazelnuts
  • 100g bar dark chocolate
  • 50ml double cream


  • Make some shavings from the bar of chocolate by dragging a large knife over the surface.
  • Break the remaining chocolate into a saucepan. Add the cream, a dash of liqueur and heat gently, stirring, until the chocolate melts and you have a smooth glossy sauce.
  • Crumble the cake or pudding into sundae glasses and drizzle over the liqueur.
  • Top with ice cream, and drizzle over the chocolate sauce.
  • Top with the hazelnuts and chocolate shavings.

There are endless ways to breathe new life into your leftovers this Christmas; what do you normally do with yours?

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