How to jazz up your Christmas Day leftovers

Boxing Day has never looked this good with these simple but clever ideas from our experts for using leftovers from the big day

What fun things can I do with my Christmas Day leftovers?

Chloe, Margate

Sure, Christmas dinner is great, but leftovers could be even better. Yesterday's meats and vegetables wrapped in pastry for pie, for example, or substitutions are winners on Boxing Day, says Lisa Goodwin-Allen, executive chef of Northcote in Lancashire and The Game Bird at The Stafford in London. "They are very simple and can be made from anything left in your fridge." He melted 20g of butter, added chopped onions and 100g of sprouts, and cooked until soft. "Add crushed garlic, 60ml cream, season and cook for four minutes, then add a handful of diced turkey and ham." Scoop into rolled puff pastry squares and fold, “pinch the sides to make sure you don't get any air pockets. Slash with a knife and bake at 230C (210C fan)/450F/gas 8 for five to seven minutes, until golden.” Or, continue turkey day with risotto, Tim Siadatan of Trullo and Padella, both in London, say: " Make it as you normally would, then at the end toss in some chopped cooked turkey, butter and some good parmesan." Place on a plate, sprinkle with chopped raw ("for crunchiness") sprouts and stilton crumbs, and finish with some good olive oil. Turkey — plus pork in a blanket, stuffing, and chestnuts — would also make a great home on ravioli. “There's a lot going on here,” says Siadatan, “but it's worth it.” Cut up your stuffing, then enclose a mound of ingredients between the pasta sheets, seal your package and cook. Sauce-wise, Siadatan recommends "nice, bitter Italian leaves" like radicchio, which he roasts, chops and adds, along with butter, to reduced sauces. Crown with crunchy sage leaves.

For more carb convenience, turn used bread sauce into a savory pudding. "Take about a half pint of leftover bread sauce, add two eggs and mix well," says Richard Corrigan, chef-patron of the Corrigan Collection. “Pour into a loaf tin and bake at 160C (140C fan)/325F/gas 3 for 45 minutes.” Cool, slice, and serve with chilled ham – "That's not a bad lunch left there." The same goes for fondue made with leftovers from your Christmas cheeseboard, says Pip Lacey, chef/co-owner of north London pub Hicce Hart – especially when there's a roast to dip. “The best thing, however, is the leftover meat on white bread with lots of butter and salt – I'm pretty basic about this,” he says. That said, a little herb dressing ("chopped herbs, olive oil, sherry vinegar") wouldn't be a bad thing.

Meanwhile, for The Guardian's no-waste columnist Tom Hunt, soups and stews are the "most convenient way" to reuse leftovers. And the method is surprisingly simple: sweat allium and celery until tender, throw in the diced greens, cover with stock, bring to a boil, then season and simmer for 20 minutes. Throw in meat, beans, or whatever spices need to be used, and you're good to go.

Finally, toast the excess panettone bread and butter style. Jun Tanaka, chef-owner of The Ninth in London, layers an ovenproof dish with layers of Italian bread and then spoons it over the creme anglaise. “Repeat until all panettone is used up and bake at 110C (90C fan)/230F/gas ¼ for 45 minutes.” Once cool, “sprinkle caster sugar over the top and torch [or grill] until it caramelizes.” Add a scoop of ice cream to live the rest of your best life.

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