A new love for leftovers

At FRESH we like to say the holidays are a season of eating, but all that eating also creates a lot of leftovers. Honestly, I can only eat so many sandwiches, so I thought it was time to create some new alternatives. Here’s a rundown of leftover solutions for any type of holiday menu.

During the holidays, I always have a lot of cheese on hand. It’s my go-to appetizer when last minute guests drop by or from the many charcuterie platters I will make between now and New Year’s Day. Sometimes what is left isn’t enough to use again so all of it goes into the food processor to make a cheese spread or cheese log rolled in nuts. My other favorite accompaniment to cheese is cranberry pepper jelly. That is also easy to make with leftover cranberry sauce. Two things repurposed for another entertaining opportunity. See recipes below.

  • Turkey/Chicken: potpie, soup, salads, chicken & dumplings, tacos, enchiladas, casseroles, quesadillas
  • Prime Rib/Steak/Filet: flautas, beef tips and noodles, steak salad, fajitas, beef stir fry.
  • Roast Beef: shepherd’s pie, barbecue brisket, Bolognese sauce, breakfast hash
  • Boiled Shrimp: salads, tacos, shrimp cakes, chowder, dip, scampi
  • Ham: stir fry, mac & cheese, quiche, breakfast biscuit sandwiches, soup, pizza, casseroles. Ham can also be chopped and frozen to use later.
  • Stuffing: Mix with meat and use as stuffing in peppers, squash, mushrooms. Also use as the breading in meatballs, mix with eggs and make stuffing waffles.
  • Vegetables: fried rice, quiche, casseroles, soup.
  • Potatoes:  potato salad, potato cakes, soup or add cheese, sour cream and bacon for potato casserole.
  • Crudité: chopped salad, soup, breakfast hash

Leftover Cheese Log
1 cup (4 oz) hard cheese (see note)
1 cup (4 oz) soft cheese (see note)
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbs brandy
2 Tbs orange juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

In a food processor combine all cheeses, brandy, orange juice and seasonings. Spoon the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Lay a piece of parchment paper flat on a work surface. Unwrap the cheese and transfer to the parchment paper near the bottom edge. Begin rolling the paper up around the cheese to form a log. Leave the cheese rolled up in the parchment paper and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

On a large plate, spread the pecan mixture into an even layer. Remove the cheese log from the freezer and gently remove the paper. Roll the cheese log through the nuts to coat on all sides. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: Hard cheeses include cheddar, manchego, gruyere, gouda, swiss. Soft cheeses include brie, goat, gorgonzola, fontina, feta. Be sure to remove any rind.

Cranberry Pepper Jelly
2 cups cranberry sauce or canned cranberry
1/2 sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

In a saucepan, stir together all ingredients and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

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