As you know, we love food. When you make an amazing meal, if you don’t do something with your leftovers, they will spoil. And that sucks. Nothing makes me angrier than spoiled leftovers that you could have eaten, and money down the drain that you could have used. J/K. There are a lot of things that make me angrier. Just ask my husband. It must be the Irish side of me. Or the French. Well anyway, really leveraging your leftovers puts you in a great position to both save money and time. You save a trip or the grocery store (You should only be going once a week, because I know you’re following our menu method.) and that, in turn, keeps you from spending the green. Below, we’ve listed our top three ways to leverage and use holiday leftovers. Because ’tis the season. And if you don’t, you’ll be angry and penniless.
1. Freeze your holiday leftovers and use them at a date in the near-ish future.
Here’s the down and dirty quick version of how to freeze food: 1. Store food in a plastic bag or Tupperware container, and make sure all the air has been removed. Using a food saver is even better if you have one. 2. Wrap food in tin foil to keep out the freezer burn. Use food within 3 months (to be safe) to dodge the freezer burn bullet. 3. If you are super organized, or forgetful (like me), you may want to label your foods. Masking tape and a sharpie work nicely for this task. Want more from a professional? This is a nice article from Cooking Light on the steps to freeze and thaw food. Important to remember: when thawing using the water method, do not use hot water, only cold. This will cook your meat, and then it won’t taste good. And we don’t like it when things don’t taste good.
2. Eat holiday leftovers throughout the week.
Heat up those leftovers, and relive your Christmas dinner! What? Your Christmas dinner was amazing? How about an encore? Because who doesn’t love those? And you don’t have to clap for your food to get it to perform again! (Was that analogy over the top? I only kind of care if it was. ) And that’s a night you don’t have to shop for.
3. Repurpose your holiday leftovers and create something new!
We love making hash, hot beef sandwiches, and adding things like chicken to salads and pizzas. Leftover prime rib? Slice it thin, heat up some au jus or gravy in a pan, add the meat to warm it up, then add it to some bread. (We do it this way to keep it from getting too over-done in the re-heat. Well-done meat tastes icky.) Got some leftover turkey? Throw it on a roll with just a smidge of mayo and maybe some mustard. Holla, you have a leftover turkey sandwich (I promise I’ll try not to use that word again)! Just don’t take me literally about the throwing part. I’m not sure how that would work. My dad used to make a rockin meat sandwich spread by using the grinder attachment on our kitchen aid. After the meat was ground he added chopped pickles, mustard, mayonnaise, and mixed it together. You get the idea. If you need more, check out our post on leftovers here.
We hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season filled with joy, SPFers. Be healthy, happy, and safe!
Crystal is the founder of Simply Playful Fare. She has been in the kitchen for as long as she can remember. She has a degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing.