New Castle News

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December 28, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Christmas continued

Keep on feasting on holiday leftovers

NEW CASTLE — The holiday meals are finished for most of us and the fridge may overflow with leftovers.

Before you consider tossing them into the trash can or doling them out to the family pet, remember there are other options.

There are so many things to do with leftover ham, turkey and beef — the ultimate trio of holiday entrées — as well all those extra vegetables such as potatoes.

A few creative twists can turn leftovers into something a little more special and reduce the comments of, “This again? Really?”

I read in a magazine about a creative way of using some of those. For me, anything involving pastry is a winner. All you need to do is press pie dough into muffin tins and bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 425. Then spoon into those shells whatever filling you prefer such as turkey, stuffing or mashed potatoes or a combination of those and warm up the dish at 350. It can be topped with herbs.

As for leftover mashed potatoes, I like the idea of making fritters by combining 2 1/2 cups potatoes, 1/2 cup chopped ham and chopped onion. Then form the mixture into 1/2-inch thick patties. Place 1/1 cup flour in a dish and coat the patties with flour, tapping off the excess. Heat 1/4/ cup oil on medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet and in two batches, cook the patties for about 5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides, turning over once. That seems much better than just heating up plain old mashed taters.

After heavy meals, it may also be time to lighten the load. A salad using turkey and dried cranberries not only uses up two of those holiday staples, but it’s only 293 calories per serving. Omitting the pecans reduces the fat content.

Two soups are in the mix today, too. It is the time of year for hearty, warm-you-to-the-bone fare, so your contributions are always appreciated.

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