I abhor food waste and am on a constant pledge to be more resourceful with what’s on hand. But over the holidays there were only so many rows of red velvet brownies I could comfortably part with (I sent both sides of the family home with some!). There were only so many prosciutto wrapped pears I could reasonably justify on an hourly basis. I finally decided to get creative with the leftover appetizers from our Christmas Day graze and turned them into some great main dishes all their own. I humbly suggest you might even make these dishes the original intention for your ingredients! I strongly believe eating leftovers does NOT have to mean eating the same thing as the day before.
Roasted fennel and squash salad with walnuts, goat’s milk feta, and balsamic drizzle
Butternut squash and goat’s milk feta (from my kick-ass brunch frittata)
Roasted sliced fennel bulbs (from the afternoon antipasti platter)
Walnuts (from a million hours of baking)
Balsamic reduction (My biggest Christmas shortcut—I just bought a bottle for finishing dishes and will probably do so forever more.)
Arugula (from a Christmas Day prosciutto-wrapped pear salad)
I also had a last minute instinct to add pomegranate seeds to this salad, post-photo. They added a punch of bright tang so I suggest you do the same.
Instead of making a tortiere for Christmas Day—knowing we were eating munchies all day—I opted to turn my tortiere recipe into a meatball. Actually, I turned it into 56 meatballs for a holiday when we were having a maximum of 10-11 people over two days. At least I had flash frozen the raw meatballs days earlier so I only needed to deal with about 25 senselessly cooked meatballs.
Tortiere Slider Meatball Subs
Parker House, Parisian, whatever dinner rolls are kicking around after dinner
Tortiere Meatballs (recipe below)
Mushroom Thyme Gravy (I used this one and would recommend adding a good dash of Worcestershire sauce and reducing the heavy cream.)
Comte cheese (a medium-firm French cheese like a combination of cheddar and gruyere. Leftover from our awesome Ottavio cheese board).
Butter mixed with a few cloves of minced garlic (according to your taste)
Spread some garlic butter on your rolls and toast until golden.
Sprinkle with some Arugula and finely grated cheese
Top with meatballs and drizzle with mushroom gravy.
Sprinkle some more finely grated cheese on top.
Makes about 50 1.5” meatballs
1-1/2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
1 lb lean ground pork
1 and a half cups sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
½ cup breadcrumbs
In saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook potato until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and mash; set aside.
Meanwhile, in deep skillet, sautee mushrooms, celery, onions, and garlic. Add salt, pepper, thyme, cloves, and cinnamon.Mix with the mashed potato. It should taste a little bit over-seasoned, since you’ve still got to add the pork. Let cool.*
Mix raw pork with cooled, cooked filling and add one egg. Adding half a cup of breadcrumbs if needed. Flash freeze individual meat balls on baking sheets so they can be bagged once froze.
When ready to serve, bake in the oven in a grease roasting pan at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes, depending on the size of your balls. Stir them into some warm gravy and serve.
You could also pan fry them but I would eliminate the mashed potato in that case—these balls are delicate (sorry, couldn’t help it).
*Note: it was my original intention to be absolutely precious and put a small ball of mashed potato in the centre of each meatball but time in the kitchen had already far exceeded time spent doing other cheer-inducing activities so I cut myself some slack and watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation with some shortbread instead.
Do you have any favourite “leftover” recipes from the holidays?