How to make the most of your Christmas leftovers

22 December 2011

But in the days that follow, many of us are subsisting on a peculiar diet of cheese and crackers, satsumas and Christmas cake. There's usually plenty of perfectly good food left over but knowing what to do with it all can be tricky. Should you throw the lot in together and make a 'Christmas pie', or do something more creative?

Moneywise has enlisted the help of various food writers, websites and bloggers to give you a collection of recipes guaranteed to turn your leftovers into delicious meals and get the most out of your Christmas shop – even the brussel sprouts won't go to waste.


CHRISTMAS DINNER CAKE - serves 6 to 8 people

185g wholemeal chapatti flour
135g soft brown sugar
55g dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
30g cranberries
30g chopped chestnuts
2 eggs
110g vegetable oil
40g sour cream
125g grated carrots
50g grated parsnips
50g chopped sprouts

50g orange marmalade
80g cream cheese
40g margarine or butter
40g icing sugar
Cranberries and white chocolate curls to decorate

1. Grease and line two sandwich tins and preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Mix together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda, cranberries and chopped chestnuts.
3. Add the eggs, sour cream and oil and beat well.
4. Add the vegetables and beat well again.
5. Pour the mixture into the tins.
6. Bake at 180°C for approximately 30 minutes until cooked – to test stick a skewer or knife into the centre of the cake, if the blade comes out clean the cake is ready.
7. Leave to cool then spread the orange marmalade onto one cake.
8. Mix together the cream cheese, margarine or butter and icing sugar until smooth.
9. Spread half of the icing onto the top of the marmalade and sandwich the two cakes together.
10. Spread the remaining icing onto the top of the cake.
11. Decorate with cranberries and white chocolate curls

Source: Weeton's in Harrogate,


Leftover fresh herbs
2 garlic cloves
Oil (such as rapeseed or walnut)

1. Roughly chop whatever herbs you have left (stems included), and blitz in a food processor with some oil and chopped garlic until you have a thick consistency.
2. Use this to spread on fish, chicken or roasted vegetables.

Source: Amy Brotherton,


Leftover fresh herbs
2 garlic cloves
Chopped toasted nuts
Grated parmesan

Roughly chop your leftover herbs and blitz in a food processor, along with all the other ingredients to create a delicious pesto.

Source: Amy Brotherton,



4 slices of smoked trout (or smoked salmon)
4 squares of low-fat cream cheese
2 tbsp of 3% fat liquid crème fraîche
Chopped chives
Salt and pepper

1. Mix the cream cheese and crème fraîche in a bowl.
2. Add the chopped chives. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spread the mixture on the four slices of smoked trout. Roll and serve chilled.

Source: Dukan diet


8 tbsp oat bran
4 egg whites
4 tbsp quark
4 tbsp fromage frais
herbs (parsley, coriander, dill)
4 tbsp cottage cheese
4 tbsp horseradish
Slices of smoked salmon
black pepper to finish

1. For the galettes, mix the oat bran, quark, and fromage frais together until smooth.
2. Add herbs and seasoning to taste.
3. Stiffly beat the egg whites, and work this into the mixture. 
4. Once mixed thoroughly, separate into eight, and pour the mixture into a warm, non-stick frying pan, greased with a few drops of oil. Cook on a medium heat for two to three minutes on each side.
5. Finish off each galette by mixing the cottage cheese and horseradish together. Spoon a little onto each galette.
6. Top with a small piece of smoked salmon, season with ground black pepper and serve.

Source: Dukan diet


MINCE PIE ICE CREAM (using an ice cream maker)

330ml milk
250g granulated sugar
650ml double cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp mixed spice
3 or 4 mince pies, broken into smallish pieces

1. Pour the milk and sugar into a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the cream, vanilla and mixed spice. Cover and chill, if time allows.
2. Turn the ice cream maker on, pour the mixture into the freezer bowl and leave the ice cream to churn, for 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Then add the broken up minced pies.
4. If you would like a firm ice cream, put the ice cream in an airtight container and place in the freezer for two hours.


A tub of vanilla ice cream
2 tsp mixed spice
3 or 4 mince pies, broken into smallish pieces

1. Simply take the ice cream out the freezer and let it defrost until it is pliable, but not too defrosted.
2. Transfer to a big bowl and mix in the mince pies and mixed spice.
3. Transfer the mixture back into the ice cream tub and put back in the freezer for a few hours to harden up.

Source: Andy Hunting,


250ml double cream
100g dried cranberries
1 orange, zest removed and the juice set aside
8 meringues, broken into big pieces
6 mince pies, broken into pieces
100g walnut halves
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp organic coconut palm sugar (or demerara sugar)
2 tbsp icing sugar

1. Add the mixed spice and icing sugar to the double cream and then whip your double cream until it is nearly stiff. Place this in the fridge to chill while preparing the rest of the dish.
2. In a small saucepan, add the cranberries, orange zest, orange juice and palm sugar and then just cover with cold water, bring to the boil and reduce until nearly all the liquid has gone. Allow to cool.
3. Dry roast walnut halves, and then once cool bash with a rolling pin or anything else that is nice and heavy. You don't want the walnuts to be broken up too much.
4. And now to put the dish together, firstly add the meringues and mince pies to the double cream, and fold gently. You don't want to break the meringues up anymore.
5. Now spoon the mixture into a bowl or dish of your choice, but only halfway, and then add the walnuts and cranberries and top up with the rest of the cream mixture. Finally, decorate with walnuts and cranberries.

Source: Andy Hunting,


You can add lots of variety to the recipe below, in the past I have added raisins, nuts, cherries and even marshmallows once, and they all tasted lovely. So experiment with different flavours and textures – you never know you may be surprised with the results.

(Makes about 18 brownies)

250g chopped chocolate
200g unsalted butter, chopped
200g caster sugar
3 eggs (medium)
125g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp mixed spice
As many Christmas chocolates (Quality Street, Roses, Celebrations etc.) as you want to use, chopped in half.

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line a baking tin with a piece of foil or baking paper.
2. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, heat the chopped butter and dark chocolate in the microwave for one minute on high.
3. Remove and stir until blended. This may take a further 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly so you don't cook the eggs when you add them.
4. In another bowl, whisk the sugar with the eggs until light and creamy.
5. Add the melted chocolate to the whisked eggs, add the vanilla extract and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
6. Now sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix well. Add the chopped chocolates and mixed spice.
7. Using a spatula, scrape the chocolate mixture into the baking tin.
8. Put the tin in the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. You can check the brownies by pushing a cocktail stick or knife into the middle of the mix. When pulled out, you should see some of the mix still sticking to it. Don't overcook the mix as it will becomes very dry.
8. Take the brownies out of the oven, and let the tin stand on a wire rack until it has cooled down. Once cool, take the brownies out and cut into squares.

Source: Andy Hunting,

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