Give leftovers new life

Christmas dinner is done and dusted.

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Turkey & Potato Curry, featured in BBC's Good Food Magazine, January 2014 issue

Christmas dinner is done and dusted.

The washing-up's even been dried and put away, emergency chairs are back in the garage, and that big plate you only use once a year has been returned to its rightful home in the cupboard above the oven.

So what now? There's a plate of assorted cooked veg under cling film in the fridge, a turkey carcass with a good amount of meat on it, and quarter of a Christmas pudding you spent ages making.

Well, the most important thing is not to let it all go to waste. But secondly don't just reheat everything in the microwave and have a makeshift second Christmas dinner - that's boring and it will never taste as good.

What you need are some leftover recipes.

There are a few classics. Tartiflette is one, and it contains perhaps the rarest of all leftovers - uneaten roast potatoes. If you don't know what it is, imagine a savoury bread and butter pudding and you're somewhere near.

To make it, take your roast potatoes - you'll need quite a few, so it might be worth cooking extra on Christmas Day - and slice them so they're about 2cm thick. Meanwhile, gently fry a sliced onion in a frying pan in a little oil until golden - go easy on the oil, though, you don't want this dish getting greasy. Then fry some chopped bacon or lardon until it goes crispy.

Then place a layer of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of an ovenproof dish, sprinkle over a layer of onion and bacon. Repeat the step, seasoning each layer, maybe adding some thyme if you have some handy. Add more potatoes, then more bacon and onion, then finally another layer of potatoes. On top of this, pour a little double cream, and place slices of reblochon cheese on the very top.

Reblochon is native to Haute-Savoie in France, from where this dish originates, but you can use any good melting cheese. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes or so, and you have a fantastic side dish, or, if served with a simple green salad, a delicious main.

If you have a surplus of sprouts, why not try using them to make champ?

It's a traditional Irish dish, usually made by adding spring onions to mashed potato. Instead of, or as well as, the spring onions, use the sprouts too, sliced in half and maybe gently sauteed in a little butter before stirring into the mash. Be sure to make the mash very buttery, with plenty of seasoning, some warm milk and a little grating of nutmeg to finish.

There are several other easy ideas - stirring crumbled Christmas pudding through slightly melted vanilla ice cream (in the manner of raspberry ripple) and refreezing makes a festive dessert, or you could make a simple bechamel sauce (in a saucepan, cook equal parts flour and butter, then loosen with enough milk to make a sauce), add cheese, leftover ham/turkey/whatever you have, and eat over a jacket potato or stirred through some pasta.

Before you tire of the sight of Christmas food, have a look at the recipes below and see if there's anything that takes your festive fancy.

Turkey & potato curry

(Serves 4)

1tbsp sunflower oil

1 large onion, thickly sliced

1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped

2tbsp curry paste (or gluten-free alternative)

2 garlic cloves, crushed

400g can chopped tomatoes

300g leftover turkey, diced

300g leftover cooked potatoes (either boiled or roasted), diced

2tbsp mango chutney

Small pack coriander, roughly chopped

Rice or naan bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pan over a fairly high heat. Cook the onion and pepper for three to four minutes until starting to soften and brown slightly.

Stir in the curry paste and garlic, then cook for another one to two minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and 150ml water. Bring to the boil and bubble for five minutes.

Turn the heat down, stir in the turkey and potatoes, and cook for another two to three minutes, then season and add the mango chutney. Scatter with coriander and serve with rice or naan.

Mini turkey & cranberry pies

(Makes 8)

500g pack shortcrust pastry

Plain flour, for dusting

250g shredded leftover turkey

8tbsp double cream or creme fraiche

8tsp cranberry sauce

1 egg, beaten

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface so that it's just thinner than a £1 coin. Cut out eight 10cm circles using a pastry cutter or small saucer, then cut eight 9cm circles for the lids - you will need to re-roll the trimmings.

Push the larger circles into eight holes of a muffin tin, then divide the turkey, cream and cranberry sauce between them. Season well and brush the edges with a little egg. Place a lid on top of each and pinch the sides together to seal. Chill the tray for 15 to 20 minutes. This firms up the pastry, making for a crisper exterior.

Heat the oven to 200C. Brush the tops with more egg, then bake for 25 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve warm, or leave to cool and enjoy cold.

Christmas pudding strudel

(Serves 6)

250g Christmas pudding, crumbled

250g tub mascarpone

2tbsp Baileys

4 sheets filo pastry

25g melted butter

Icing sugar, for dusting

Cream or custard, to serve

Heat the oven to 200C.

Mix the pudding, mascarpone and Baileys. Lay out a sheet of filo on a large flat baking tray, brush with some melted butter and lay another sheet on top. Repeat with more butter and filo until you have four layers.

Place the filling in a log in the centre and brush the border with butter. Roll up to enclose the filling then brush with the remaining butter. Can be chilled for one day until ready to bake.

When ready to cook, bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown, dust with icing sugar and serve warm with cream or custard.

Three of the best

Bagels

  • Waitrose Essential Sesame Seed Bagel, £1.29 for five, Waitrose/Ocado
  • Kingsmill White Bagel, £1 for four, Sainsburys,
  • New York Bakery Cranberry & Orange Bagels, £1.60 for four, Tesco
  • Recipes courtesy of BBC Good Food Magazine. The January issue is on sale now, priced £3.90