Living for Leftovers, Part 1

More ideas for holiday leftovers at CHEFScatalog.com
January 2, 2014

Even after Christmas, there are so many holiday foods left to enjoy!

From honey baked ham to warm glasses of apple cider to hearty leg of lamb to pound cake for dessert—what’s not to like? But, after the big meal is over, don’t let those delicious dishes go to waste. Most of them can be refrigerated or frozen and then transformed into completely new meals that are just as tasty as the original.


Ham graces many dinner tables during the Christmas season. This food tradition goes back many years. In fact, it was once part of a pagan ritual to serve a wild boar as an offering to the Norse Gods.

How to use ham in leftovers at CHEFScatalog.com There are a number of ham varieties, but there are three major categories: fresh ham, dry-cured ham, and wet-cured ham. It is the wet-cured variety that is found on most tables in the U.S. It’s soaked in a brine of salt and water, as well as sugar, liquid smoke, and other flavorings.

How to store: Place your sliced, cured ham in an airtight plastic container with a folded paper towel lining the bottom. Then place another paper towel on top and close the lid. If stored in the refrigerator, it will last three to five days. If you want it to last longer, put it in the freezer, where it will be good for one to two months.

Transform your ham

There are endless ways to use leftover ham, depending upon what you’re in the mood for. Whip up a yummy French bread pizza using diced ham as one of the toppings. Combine it with some spinach, sliced pineapple, and your favorite fresh cheese, and pop it in the oven.

You can also use leftover ham in a pasta salad. Throw together cooked pasta shapes of your choice, along with vegetables like broccoli, peppers, and onions. Season it with some fresh ground pepper, ranch dressing, and mayonnaise.

Christmas cookies

One of the best holiday traditions is baking dozens of your favorite Christmas cookies. From gingerbread men to sugar cookies (with icing, of course), and shortbread—they’re all delicious. But, if you have some left over from the holidays, they can be stored and turned into other tasty treats.

Repurposing our Christmas Cookies as leftovers at CHEFScatalog.com How to store: Cookie dough can be frozen, as can already-made cookies. Place them in a resealable freezer bag. Each layer of cookies should be separated by parchment paper to keep them from sticking together. Store them in the refrigerator for two to three days, or in the freezer for up to four to five months—though I could never ignore Christmas cookies that long.

Transform your Christmas cookies

If you let some cookies sit too long and they've dried out, don’t throw them out! Instead, turn those stale cookies into a flaky pie crust. All you have to do is crumble up leftover cookies, confectioners’ sugar, and melted unsalted butter, press it into a pie pan and bake!

Or, you can make croutons out of them. Cookie croutons are a perfect small, sweet treat any time you want one. Cut your leftover cookies into small chunks and cover them with a mixture of melted, unsalted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes and you have a whole new dessert to enjoy.


Roasted, steamed, grilled, or baked, corn is a favorite any time of year. So, don’t let this dish go to waste. Instead, if properly stored, you can use it to create new meals your family and friends will love.

How to store: Both fresh and cooked corn can last five to seven days in the refrigerator. Put your corn into a sealed plastic bag and store in the vegetable drawer to keep it fresh. To freeze corn, spread the kernels on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer until hard. Then transfer them into a resealable freezer bag, where they will last for about eight months.

Transforming your corn

This versatile vegetable can be turned into so many different dishes:

  1. Go the comfort food route and make corn pudding—a great compliment to meats like ham and turkey.
  2. Prefer soup or stew? Opt for a warm and delicious bowl of corn chowder, which is a perfect treat for the chillier months. Season with fresh parsley or dill, salt and pepper, onion, red pepper, and more for a bowl packed to the brim with flavor.
  3. Serve your holiday meats with a corn side dish as well! Whip up this tasteful corn relish recipe and serve with ham, pork tenderloin, or turkey.

Print Corn Relish recipe at CHEFScatalog.comCorn Relish

Print Corn Relish recipe at CHEFScatalog.com Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded

1/2 head red cabbage, shredded

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup diced green bell pepper

1/3 cup minced red onion

1/3 cup minced celery

5 cloves garlic, peeled

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons mustard seed

3/4 teaspoon celery seed

10 ears fresh corn, kernels removed

Cooking Instructions

In a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar and 1 cup water. Add all the remaining ingredients but the corn. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the corn is tender.

Transfer to a large heatproof serving bowl and cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to blend. Before serving, bring to room temperature. Serves 8 to 10.

Print Corn Pudding recipe at CHEFScatalog.comCorn Pudding

Print Corn Pudding recipe at CHEFScatalog.com Ingredients

1 bag (20 ounces) frozen whole kernel corn, defrosted

1 small onion, quartered

2 cups milk (2 percent)

2 eggs, beaten

1 box (8 1/2 ounces) corn muffin mix

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

fresh scallions

KitchenAid 13-cup Food Processor at CHEFScatalog.com Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

In a food processor, add onion and frozen corn. Pulse until the corn is broken but not pureed scraping the side of bowl as necessary. Add milk and eggs then continue to process. Add muffin mix and salt and process again.

Pour the mixture into greased 11 3/4" x 7 1/2" baking dish. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until outside crust is golden brown.

To add some extra flavor, sprinkle the top with cheese and garnish with fresh cut scallions.

Print Easy Corn Chowder, Pressure Cooker recipe at CHEFScatalog.comEasy Corn Chowder, Pressure Cooker

The sweet taste of summer corn all year long! A welcome, warming cup of soup ready in about 20 minutes start to finish.

Print Easy Corn Chowder, Pressure Cooker recipe at CHEFScatalog.com Ingredients

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1-1/2 cups onion, chopped

1-1/2 cups red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1-1/2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds

1-1/2 cups celery, cut into 1/4 inch slices

2-1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

3-1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

1-1/2 cups frozen green peas

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth or stock

Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker at CHEFScatalog.com salt and pepper, to taste

3 cups wide egg noodles, cooked al dente

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or snipped dill

Your turn: Christmas dinner leftovers at CHEFScatalog.com 3 cups cooked diced chicken (optional)

Cooking Instructions

Heat oil in pressure cooker, using the brown setting. Add onions, peppers, carrots, celery, and potatoes. Brown until soft. Add corn and peas. Cover, set to high pressure, set timer for 8 minutes.

Let the pressure drop using the quick-release method. Unlock and remove lid. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the chowder until it boils, using the steam setting. Stir in noodles, parsley and chicken. Serve hot.

Recipe courtesy of Deni, Reprinted with permission.

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Tags: Christmas, Dinner, Holiday Dinner, Leftovers

Categories: Food & Recipes