What To Do With All Of Those Christmas Leftovers

26/12/2015 11:50 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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baked glazed ham

Christmas Day is behind us for another year. Gifts are unwrapped (and scattered all over the house along with balls of wrapping), and the fridge is still bulging, this time with half eaten plates of shaved ham, christmas pudding and leftover pork roast.

Sure, you could just eat them as is -- but that's what you had yesterday! Instead, get inventive and follow celebrity chef Emma Dean, Pacific Epping’s Christmas entertaining expert's more creative tips to pimping your leftovers for a week long feast.

Christmas pudding ice-cream

While many of us will have consumed enough pudding to last until next December, one of my favourite festive season treats is homemade Christmas pudding ice-cream. I simply add softened vanilla ice-cream to the left over pudding, carefully combining the ingredients until they resemble a rum and raisin style gelato. The secret is to swirl a dash of Frangelico over the mix and stir before re-freezing. If I’m feeling particularly inventive, I’ll stock up on amaretto biscuits before Christmas, to later crush and sprinkle over the ice-cream with raspberry couli. These simple additions will make getting rid of Christmas pudding leftovers easy, trust me!

Leg ham and new potato bubble and squeak

I was obsessed with making bubble and squeak when I was little -- I think it was just the fact that it had ‘squeak’ in the name, it sounded like so much fun! I’ve now developed my very own adult version of the family favourite. I take those scrappy bits of ham around the bone, mash them in with baby potatoes (although any kind of cooked spud, or vegetable will do), add a tablespoon or two of flour and combine with an egg. From here, I form the mixture into patties and then set them to firm in the fridge before frying them in a hot pan. Breaking them up a bit gives you delicious crispy bits -- otherwise keeping them in patty shapes allows you to create bubble and squeak burgers. Just add some good old iceberg lettuce, a soft bun, and the old faithful tomato sauce!

Pork Rice Paper Rolls

Roast pork, turkey and chicken go very, very well with Vietnamese flavours. Rice paper rolls or your own take on Bahn Mi, is a great dish to create with leftover roast meats. All you need is some shredded carrot, coriander, a shallot, some mint, basil or coriander, chopped roasted peanuts (or any nut from the nut bowl) and some hoisin sauce. Roll ingredients into rice paper wrappers, (pre-soaked of course) and then dip them into your sauce of choice – I combine a ½ cup of sweet chilli, ½ cup of lime juice and two tablespoons of fish sauce. YUM! Alternatively, if you have crusty bread rolls, pop the ingredients into a roll, drizzle with the dipping sauce and add a bit of mayo and fresh chilli.

rice paper rolls

Leftover cheese and fruit sauce tart

It’s not often you find left over cheese in my house, however on the odd occasion that this rarity does takes place, I turn the remaining pieces into a fabulous cheese and fruit sauce tart. In terms of step-by-step instructions -- grab some puff pastry, cut it in half to form two rectangles and smear some fruit sauce (apple puree and cranberry are Christmas sauces favourites). Following that, sauté one small onion until it’s caramelised and place on top of the fruit sauce. To finish, sprinkle with cheese (brie or blue cheese work well). Bake at 180 degrees Celsius until the pastry is puffed and the cheese is bubbling. Serve hot or cold, it’s perfectly tasty either way!


I love my daily espresso and when on Christmas break I like to combine this with cake! I call it an affo-cakeo-gato! Digging through the fridge, I grab a little bit of leftover cake, or pudding to use. Once found, I pop the cake or pudding in the bottom of a cup, add ice-cream and pour a short black espresso over the top. To make it even more festive, I pop in a ¼ nip of something from the top shelf! Delicious, cooling and heart-warming, all at the same time!

Tip: if all the dessert was polished off on Christmas Day, I can give you the hot tip that plum puddings will be on special at your local supermarket come Boxing Day.

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