Christmas Leftovers

1/03/2011 11:59:00 PM

Welcome to my semi-annual post on Christmas leftovers!  (Last year's post is here, and the last time before that was 2006!)  I think we did pretty well this year and didn't vastly overcater, but we still had some leftover ham, gravy, turkey, lobster and dumplings, as well as some other little bits and pieces.  With the leftover lobster, I ate it cold, with mayonnaise and hot chips - divine.  The other leftovers took a little more work, so I thought I would share some photos with y'all here.

In my opinion, the best thing to do with leftover bread dumplings is to slice them up and fry them.  We had them as a late brunch with scrambled eggs, some leftover gravy and red cabbage.
Fried dumplings
My dad was a bit more creative than me, and on the same day, whipped up a tasty pasta dish - spaghetti, chopped up ham, leftover petits pois and some eggplant pesto.
Dad's pasta
For something a little healthier, and because we were totally sick of big Aussie-style roasts, we made a simple turkey-noodle soup.  It included (bought) chicken stock, some chopped up carrots and celery, noodles, and leftover turkey meat.  I ate mine with loads of crunchy chiu chow chilli oil, fish sauce, raw onion slices and lemon juice - kind of a mix between pho, chicken-noodle soup and kway teow th'ng.  It was both comforting and restorative at the same time.

And finally, the dinner of which I am most proud - the ham and leek "welsh" pasties that you see at the top of the post.  These come from Nigella's Kitchen, and are a suggested way to use up leftover ham and leeks in white sauce.  (Page 373 in the UK edition, if you're interested in making them - and I certainly think you should be!)

I didn't have any leftover leeks in white sauce, but wanted to try these pasties so much that I made up the sauce from scratch, and stirred in some leftover ham cubes.
Leeks in white sauce

Ham cubes

Nigella suggests lard for the pastry, but I used copha instead.  This wasn't out of any health concerns, but more because I have no idea where to buy good baking lard, and I had some copha in the fridge anyway.  The pastry is a standard shortcrust, but with the addition of bicarb and baking powder.  I made it up in the blender, because copha, unlike butter, is super-difficult to rub into flour using your fingertips.

The pastry was lovely and pliable, and was incredibly easy to roll out, even though I didn't use Nigella's "freeze-the-fat-and-flour" trick.  I wonder if it's because of the raising agents, or because of the copha?

Even though the pastry was so easy to work with, I think I could have been much neater with cutting it up!  Check out my irregular pasties below, haha.  Lots of the filling leaked out during baking too, oops.

But, despite their 'rustic' appearance, these little pasties were absolutely delicious!  The pastry was very light and flaky, and the filling had that great flavour combo of onion and ham.  I think these babies would be worth making any time, even if you didn't have any leftovers and had to buy all the ingredients from scratch.

Phew, that was a lot of food!  I can't be the only one looking forward to some nice light salads in the new year, right guys?

I know there's been heaps of Christmas food blogging going around, but I'd also like share a couple of other Christmas posts I read that I really enjoyed this year from other blogs: Catty's Big Fat Finnish White Christmas (in London), and Su-Lin's amazing Catalan Christmas meals.  Fabulous celebrations girls, I'm so jealous!!

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  1. This post increased my food knowledge a lot! I learnt about copha (by googling it!) and more about pasties. :D


  2. These look SO GOOD! Do you think people cook extra on Christmas so they can tinker with left overs? I do... it's a good excuse to make pies and pasta bakes and all those dishes that work better with leftovers! Sadly we were piggies this year and basically ate everything!! :( Happy new year, Sarah!

  3. I'm kind of in awe. In my family, we just ate the leftovers in exactly the same format, over and over...

    No pasties for us. Woe!

  4. those pasties look so delicious. And homemade pastry too. YUM

  5. Hey Sarah!
    I've just found your blog and have been reading through your old recipes/posts. I really like what you write, and we seem to have the same taste in food!

    Looking forward to see what other recipes you do throughout 2011,

  6. Love getting creative with leftovers! Well done, I'm hungry now :P

  7. Aaah, Xmas leftovers. Love what you did with them. But remember, I'm always here if you need another tummy....:)

  8. After reading about all the Christmas parties you had, I'm amazed at how you managed to turn all that delicious food into other delicious food. Well done. You are the entertaining queen.



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.