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What to Do with Leftovers

2013 was the year that food waste hit the headlines and Christmas is no exception. Every year we toss away an estimated 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings and a whopping 74 million mince pies. The foods that are wasted the most are those that people don’t normally buy other than on holidays such as Christmas – turkey, sprouts, bread sauce, and cranberry sauce are the ones most likely to see the trash can.

If it wasn’t already too obvious: at CPS, we love food. As we read these staggering statistics we feel there should be practical (and delicious) ways to salvage all the unwanted food. Luckily enough, there are plenty of ideas to share.

Turkey turns out to be that bird that lingers in the fridge for too long, in part because folks are tempted to buy a big bird for the holidays. The options of making use of the leftover white meat are practically endless. Turkey could be put through a food processor to make mince, frozen to be used in place of chicken or beef, or even used as an ingredient for turkey empanadas; made using turkey, cranberries, leftover Brussels, and bought shortcrust pastry.

Bread sauce leaves many cooks stuck in a rut. Fortunately, it can be frozen so long as it hasn’t been frozen before. Don’t feel like tossing it in the freezer? Try bread sauce and ham croquettes by mixing cold bread sauce with diced smoked ham and grated cheddar. Form into balls and roll in flour, beaten egg and dried breadcrumbs. Deep fry until golden and serve with cranberry sauce for dipping.

Christmas pudding can seem difficult to be creative with, but some cooking sometimes calls for thinking outside the box — try Christmas pudding vodka. Simply add your puddings to half a bottle of vodka, leave to infuse for a day or so, strain and then enjoy!

There’s lots to do with all of your holiday leftovers. If you have any leftover canned goods or unopened products from your personal or commercial kitchens, please consider donating them to your local food pantry.