I’m delighted that Greener Scotland have given me the opportunity to talk about leftovers on their wonderful advent calendar of tips and advice, as leftovers are possibly my favourite ‘ingredient’. Giving new life to something that was already delicious, whether feeling like you’re offering an extra thanks to the animal that gave its life for your nutrition or simply not wasting the mountain of Brussels sprouts that seem obligatory there’s something satisfying about a meal of leftovers. Rather bizarrely when I think of festive period leftovers my mind goes to two things. Una Alconbury’s turkey curry buffet in Bridget Jones, and my Gran making patties and tattie scones from our leftover mashed potatoes.
Mashed potato is a wonderful medium to form the base of so many leftover recipes, so if you have a mountain left on Christmas Day and can’t face another mouthful then get them into the fridge and get creative for Boxing Day breakfast. Bubble and squeak is the ultimate leftover breakfast, it’s like a leftover disposal unit but a particular favourite for me is using the cold potatoes, maybe even the turnip, fried up in loads of butter with chopped leftover sprouts, cabbage and maybe a fresh onion if you have the energy. The remaining potatoes can go to make patties from whatever meat you have left, brown turkey leg meat works best for me but you could even used smoked salmon or trout.
Bones are another leftover which shouldn’t go to waste, when the dust settles on Christmas night I love to get back into the kitchen (hopefully with the washing up out the way!) and cover the turkey carcass in water, maybe with the peeling from the carrots and onions and a few herbs and make stock. There is so much flavour in roasted bones and a turkey broth with barley, carrots and kale is a treat in the late December days and nights, especially when the snow comes.
Not everyone has turkey obviously so if you’ve had roast beef, lamb or even venison then the obvious choice is stovies, there’s no right or wrong way to make stovies, this is my way and it’s always with leftover roast meat. However back to that turkey curry, I can always remember my Dad making Chinese style curry with leftovers and I have very fond memories of it, but my spices are largely South Asian influenced now. Their warmth here alongside coconut milk are just what you need as Christmas begins to become a memory. This Christmas don’t let your leftovers go to waste, you’ve paid for them, you’ve cooked them, now reinvent them and enjoy them all over again. For more recipe inspiration head to the Greener Scotland recipe finder.
Leftover Turkey curry
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp Nigella
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 red onion, chopped finely
1/2 tsp garlic , crushed
1/2 tsp grated Ginger
100 g tinned chopped tomatoes
200 grams chopped leftover turkey
150 g coconut milk
Chopped coriander and green chilli to garnish
Heat oil, add all seeds when the splutter add red onions and cook until soft and edges light brown.
Add ginger and garlic and cook for a few minutes to ensure raw smell goes. Add tomatoes and cooked until moisture evaporates and oil rises to to
Add chopped leftover turkey and stir. Add coconut milk and lower heat and cook until meat warmed through and coconut milk mixes in well.
Garnish. Serve with bread or rice.