Friday, December 26, 2008

Chef Maki Disguises Christmas Leftovers in New Dinners

We had a wonderful, cozy Christmas with just our family. No big get-togethers, just us. (I suppose that is always a big get-together.) We enjoyed spending our day together playing, reading, eating, etc.

But, now we have a ton of leftovers!! I like leftovers. It means less cooking. However, some people prefer not to eat the same exact thing over and over, so I try to be creative. Here are a few things I usually do with our Christmas/Thanksgiving leftovers.
Casserole (Definitely needs a better name.) This dish is awesome for the cook because it can easily be assembled as you are putting away the leftovers after Christmas dinner. Start by simply lining the bottom of the pan with gravy. Next, make a mashed potatoe rectangle around the edge of the pan. After this, put turkey pieces all over the middle section. I like to put dark meat on one side, light on the other. In a line down the midde, over the top of the turkey, place the leftover corn. Around the corn is the spot reserved for the leftover stuffing. Cover the dish with foil. You can freeze this for a later meal, or serve it in a couple of days. All it requires is for the gravy to start bubbling so you know it is heated through. Just heat it up, covered at about 350 degrees. The pictue below shows the casserole before being heated up. (It is still in the fridge since we haven't eaten it yet!)
I usually cook a Christmas ham too. That allows for making Ham and Bean Soup. To make this, save your ham bone and the liquid that you cooked the ham in. Soak the beans overnight. Cook the beans in the morning. Allow the ham bone to simmer for many hours in a large pot along with the reserved liquid and extra water enough to cover the bone at least. After simmering for as many hours as you wanted it to, remove the ham bone. Then add diced celery, onions, carrots, and whatever other veggies suits your fancy. Add half the cooked beans. Mash up the beans with your potatoe masher. Add the other half of the beans. Simmer until veggies are tender. Usually you don't need to add any other seasonings if you had enough broth left over. If the soup happens to be bland, add a ham bouillion cube. Serve with leftover dinner rolls (if you still have any!) or crackers from the Swedish Christmas party!

Potatoe Pancakes can be made by adding an egg or two to your mashed potatoes. Take a small ball of the mashed potatoes, flatten it, then pat it in seasoned flour. (Salt & pepper or your favorite all purpose seasoning) Then fry the pancakes in a skillet with melted butter.

Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup is a wonderful way to use up the rest of the turkey. If your turkey carcass isn't all in pieces, boil it in a large pot of water to make a great soup stock. Adding celery leaves, diced celery, carrots, onions, garlic, basil and leftover gravy add nutrition and flavor. Make homemade noodles, or add a package of egg noodles.

Sandwiches with leftover meat make a great meal when accompanied by all the side dishes that didn't get finished!

What good ideas do you have for leftovers?


Christensenmom said...

I make my casserole upside down to what you do, lol! I posted my "recipe" on my blog.

Celeste - The Solar Cook said...

I like left overs too. I love left over casseroles and not slaving over the stove. I am tired of ham now though.

CompleteLee Blogger said...

Sheesh! Oops! I just edited my post so that it says 350 degrees instead of 250 degrees on the casserole recipe. Sorry about that.

I made pizza tonight using some leftovers. It was yummy! I am pretty much out of leftovers now. Except for goodies...

Angela said...

Very creative indeed! thanks for the visit recently, I love meeting new bloggers.