Good Food Blog
Second helpingsPosted at 8:34AM, 26 December 2008 by Carol Wilson - Food writer
I don't know about you, but after Christmas and New Year, (despite my annual intention to buy less food) I'm always left with quite a number of festive specialities in the fridge or cupboard.
The uneaten dried fruits and nuts; that half jar of cranberry sauce, mincemeat or brandy butter and the half-eaten panettone or Christmas pudding lurking in the fridge are all much too good to throw away - but I know that I just can't face serving them up yet again! But a little imagination can transform all those unlovely leftovers into something entirely different and delicious.
Cranberry sauce can be stirred into a meatloaf mixture before cooking or used to glaze pork chops or chicken breasts before grilling. Try it swirled into a cake or muffin mixture (it's really good with chocolate cake) with some chopped walnuts before baking, or spread it on pancakes and eat with ice cream.
I use rum, brandy, or any liqueur flavoured butter to make an unusual shortbread. Flavoured butter can also be combined with whatever dried fruits and nuts are to hand and used as a scrumptious filling for a large tart or small tarts. I make a delicious pudding by poaching dried fruits in cider or wine (sweetening if necessary) until absorbed and layering them in a baking dish with crumbled pannetone or Christmas pudding and pouring over cider or milk to cover and baking in a moderate oven until puffy and risen. Serve with cream or custard. Leftover panettone and pudding make a great base for a winter trifle too.
Crumbled Christmas cake or pudding, ginger wine, dried fruits, nuts and spices can all be stirred into softened vanilla ice cream, then stored in the freezer. Cranberries, walnuts and the finely grated zest of an orange and a small glug of brandy or rum is my particular favourite addition. I also like to add a splash of ginger wine to a cup of piping hot coffee and top with a swirl of cream.
Leftover candied fruits and Turkish delight can be chopped finely and added to a muffin or Victoria sponge mixture before baking as usual. I like to add a little rosewater too, for a delicate floral hint. Add leftover mincemeat to a cake mixture and bake or steam to make a quick pudding. Mincemeat adds a delicious spicy fruitiness when spread over the apples before topping with a crumble mixture and baking. Leftover diced marzipan is delicious added to a crumble, cookie or tea loaf mixture.
Does anyone have any more ideas for using up Christmas delicacies?