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Leftover Prep Chart

Leftover Prep Chart

The spread that keeps on spreading. So, you’ve just hosted a successful Christmas at yours. The dishes are done, the garbage is out and the pants are loosened. Now, what to do with the mountain of leftover food and drinks?

Safety First

One of the most important considerations when dealing with leftovers is food safety. No one wants to spend their Chrissy break hugging a toilet, so keep a few rules in mind when preparing food for its comeback tour.

Firstly, hot foods should be refrigerated no later than 2 hours after cooking. Bacteria multiplies like lightning at room temperature, so chuck anything worth saving back in the fridge/cooler as soon as you can. This is especially important if you’re eating outdoors. Sun + seafood = express train to Salmonella city. Toot toot!

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to save, keep in mind you probably want to eat them in order of susceptibility to dodginess. Seafood should be consumed within 24 hours, meats within 2-3 days, starchy/veggie based stuff you could probably get an extra day or two out of. But don’t push it – this is only a rough guide. We recommend giving everything a good sniff before making the call to chow down or chuck it.

If it passes the schnoz test, be sure to reheat it properly and never more than once. Every time food goes through the heating and cooling process it creates the perfect conditions for bacteria to get freaky. Your warm dinner equals their hot date. Gross!

Okay, so you’ve properly sealed, stored and refrigerated or frozen your leftovers. Now what? Here are some ways to get extra mileage from each dish over the next few days, and how to pair them with all the leftover booze lying around.

Boxing Day Brekky

Leftovers used: Salmon

If your digestive system has recovered from the previous day then get cracking with this easy recipe for salmon eggs benedict.

Seafood should be the first of the leftovers consumed – this is well within the Salmonella safety window – and eggs will be a welcome sight for all those nursing a sore head. If you’re not quite ready for solids yet, juice any leftover fruit and veg for a vitamin boost.

Pair it with: Everybody’s favourite hair o’ the dog – a Bloody Mary. Stellar recipe here.

Boxing Day Lunch

Leftovers used: Roast pork

Pork should be next cab off the rank in the order of cooked meats consumed. Pulled pork tacos are a great Boxing Day option because they are fresh, salad-y and casual. Shred up your remaining roast, use up any leftover salad or put your own spin on this simple classic. Here are some recipes to inspire you.

Pair it with: A crispy Cider.

Boxing Day dinner

Leftovers used: Green veggies, seafood, pork and chicken

We all have rice in the pantry, so steam some up and toss it with your choice of meat and veg for a fast and tasty fried rice. Fried rice can contain as little or as many ingredients as you fancy, so riff with what you’ve got on hand and bulk it out with flavourful herbs and staples like frozen peas.

Here’s a traditional fried rice recipe to build upon.

Pair it with: A chilled riesling.

The days between Boxing Day and NYE:

Leftovers used: Veggies, meats

If your fridge is still rammed following your Boxing Day efforts, it’s time to get freezing. Break out the slow cooker and simmer curries and stews with all that leftover meat and veg. Got a few open bottles of red wine? Give it a good home with this hearty beef and red wine casserole.

Pair it with: A frosty craft brew.

For dessert:

Leftovers used: Plum pudding, mince pies

For a dreamy summer treat, use any leftover pudding or desserts to flavour your own ice-cream! Ice-cream is ridiculously easy to make – the only hard bit is waiting for it to freeze so you can scoff it. Mmmm. Festive brain freeze!

Here are some simple recipes that work with any traditional Chrissy dessert - think pavs, tarts, pies or cakes.

So there you have it - some simple, tasty ways to get the most out of your Christmas grub. Bon Apetit!