Well you’ve just spent countless hours in the kitchen to prepare a Holiday feast fit for royalty which tends to leave leftovers that can feed an army. What do you do with all those half-eaten dishes? We’ve collected suggestions from area chefs on restaurants on clever and creative ways to repurpose holiday meal leftovers. These delicious suggestions are sure to make everyone happy by not serving the same meal twice.
Holiday Shepard’s Pie – Chef Justin Burdick, the head chef at The Mainline loves to use leftovers for a holiday shepherd’s pie.
Butter down a casserole dish. Fill half-way with any leftovers – don’t be afraid to be creative, there are no wrong ingredients — turkey, ham, any type of leftover veggies, stuffing, and gravy. Top with your favorite shredded cheese, then top with mashed potatoes. Spread out mashed potatoes to cover each end of the casserole dish to prevent the air escaping. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake until potatoes are golden brown and internal temp reaches 165. Most of the fun is coming up with different combinations depending on your leftovers.
Leftover Burger – Clifton Bell from The Cherry Cricket recommends using those holiday leftovers as burger toppings. One of Clifton’s favorites is a burger topped with mashed potatoes, gravy, and crispy onions. If you like it sloppy, slather the entire burger with gravy and eat with a knife and fork!
Mac & Cheese and mash-potatoes – Executive Chef Ricky Meyers, Jax Fish House revs up leftover mac & cheese by refrigerating and then slicing into 2-inch cubes. He suggests dredging those cubes in an egg and bread in flour mixture and pan-frying them until golden brown. Garnish those with diced chives.
“I am a big fan of taking cold mashed potatoes and forming them into roughly two-inch sized patties,” says Chef Myers with another leftover suggestion. “These patties can then be sautéed in hot vegetable oil to get a nice crust on the outside. Once both sides of the patty are crusted, top with smoke salmon, fresh herbs, and caper berries (or normal capers). Finish with minced red onions.”
Tico Burgos, Bar Manager at Punch Bowl Social suggests creating a white wine punch with those leftover bottles of unfinished wine and champagne, extra fruit and pantry spices. It’s as easy as letting some extra pears (or any fruit) soak in the white wine for several hours to pull the sugar into the wine, add some lemongrass tea, sparkling wine (or leftover ginger ale or soda) or champagne, homemade simple syrup and cinnamon, cloves or even fresh mint. Pour over ice in your favorite vintage punch bowl complete with tiny glasses.
Oh what to do with that last bit of tequila left over from the Holiday party the night before? La Biblioteca’s bartender suggests a Tequila Toddy. Here is the easy recipe:
- 1 1/2 oz tequila (your choice)
- .5 oz agave nectar or honey
- Hot water to fill
- Lemon wedge stuffed with 5 cloves
Mix all and submerge lemon in drink and let steep for 5 minutes and enjoy!
Vanessa Combs, Beer Ambassador and Certified Cicerone at Stout Street Social suggests one of her favorite recipes using leftover beer, especially if you feel more like salads than drinking after overindulging during the holiday season. Why not make a great salad dressing with leftover wheat beer? Recipe as follows.
- ¾ cup wheat beer
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. wildflower or amber honey
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup vegetable stock
- ⅓ cup olive oil
Reduce wheat beer until it is down to a 1/4 cup, then whisk in the other ingredients