Recipe: Two tasty ways to use up your Christmas leftovers

Christmas treats by Charlotte Smith-Jarvis.

Christmas treats by Charlotte Smith-Jarvis. - Credit: Archant

Our leftovers tortilla and turkey croquetas will bring new life to your Christmas leftovers.

Christmas treats by Charlotte Smith-Jarvis.

Christmas treats by Charlotte Smith-Jarvis. - Credit: Archant

I think leftovers are one of the best parts of any big meal. The shreds of roast pork, to be mixed with chilli sauce, grilled until crisp and thrown in a baguette. A dish of greens and spuds, urging you to turn them, with a little care, into a burnished-edged bubble and squeak cake. Some of the most impressive leftover suppers can be salvaged from Christmas Day. Let’s face it, aside from the obligatory post-Christmas walks, it’s unlikely you’ll want to stray too far from home. So use the time creatively and prepare one of these tasty plates – ideal for a buffet and freezable too.

Leftovers tortilla

(makes 20 pieces

An easy way to use up those greens, roasties, parsnips, sausages and pieces of gammon left in the fridge. A lazy lunch, you can have it on the table in less than 30 minutes. And it’s perfect with the leftover cranberry sauce.

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650g mixed roasted potatoes and parsnips cut into bite-sized pieces

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Large handful cooked greens (such as sprouts, shredded)

1 large onion, finely diced

4 slices ham, chopped

6 cooked sausage, chopped

6 medium eggs, whisked


Oil for frying


Line a 20cm square tin and set the oven to 200C. Saute the onion in a little oil until very soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsnips and potatoes. Season. Put half the mixture into the prepared tin. Layer over the sausages, ham and greens. Finish with the rest of the potatoes and parsnips. Season the eggs and pour over the tin evenly, pressing down with a spoon.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden, then turn out carefully, slice and serve.

Turkey croquetas with sage and onion aioli

(makes 10)

I love a good Spanish-style croqueta, all oozy and melty underneath their crispy crumb. These are one of the finest ways I can think of to use up the scrappy bits of leftover turkey.


150g cooked turkey, shredded finely

60g unsalted butter

1 small onion, finely diced

250ml milk mixed with 250ml chicken stock

A pinch ground nutmeg


250g fresh breadcrumbs

2 eggs, beaten

Oil for frying

For the aioli:

1 egg yolk

150ml oil (I use half sunflower half olive oil)

1tbsp chopped fresh sage

1tsp onion granules



Make the aioli first. Whisk the egg yolk and add the oil, drop by drop, whisking all the time until thick and smooth. Add the sage and onion granules. Stir and taste, seasoning as you like. If it splits, add hot water, drip by drip, whisking hard to get to back to the right consistency. Store in the fridge.

For the croquetas melt the butter in a pan and add the onions, cooking on a low heat until soft but not coloured. Add the turkey and flour and stir well until it browns a little. Add the milk/stock mix, bit by bit, whisking out ay lumps and cook on a low to mid heat until it’s as thick as mashed potato. Cool, cover with clingfilm and set in the fridge for an hour or so.

Once set, split the mix into 10 pieces and roll into sausage shapes. Dip each into the beaten egg, then breadcrumbs. Chill again until needed.

When you’re ready to eat, heat a pan of oil to 180C and deep fry the croquetas, a couple at a time, until they rise, golden, to the surface.

Alternatively shallow fry to colour, and finish in the oven.

Serve with the aioli.

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