Recipe ideas from Michelle Darmody

The smells of Christmas dinner still linger and the last of the mince pies are being eaten. 
Recipe ideas from Michelle Darmody

It is time to think of what to do with all those leftovers.

Most households have to deal with eating turkey and ham for a few days longer than they would like.

There are many ways to use the meat, on toast with a bit of relish for the lazy days and there are few more adventurous recipes for those with a bit of time on their hands.

I have made a form of chocolate biscuit cake with left over Christmas cake before that worked very well and disguised it for those who are not fans of the cake on its own.

You need to make a ganache with 150 mls of warm cream and stir 150g of small dark chocolate chips through it until they are combined. Once it has cooled to a texture harder than butter, crumble the Christmas cake through it and roll into balls and dust with coco powder.

Pomegranate, like cranberry works well at cutting through the richness of other Christmas foods. This pomegranate salsa is lovely on the side of the decadent and creamy cheese and turkey sandwich and complements the cranberry sauce very well.

It can be used as a side for a cold meat plate as well. Pomegranates must be one of nature’s most beautiful fruit, the little seeds would fit in better in jewelled necklace than on a dinner plate.

Not everyone loves mince pies so these little jam tarts are an alternative. They can look similar but are filled with the jam of your choice.

I use some raspberry, generally, or blackcurrant as I find strawberry can be a little sweet with the already sweet pastry. They are lovely with a little dry sherry. You can give some to the Wren boys if they come knocking.

Christmas leftover stir-fry

Noodles for four

A dash of sesame oil

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 thumb-size pieces of ginger, very finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

200g of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

2 handfuls of left-over turkey, chopped

1 handful of left over chopped ham

2 tbsp of dry sherry

2 tbsp of light soy sauce

3 tbsp of turkey stock

4 spring onions, sliced

A bunch of coriander, chopped

Put the noodles on to boil in light salted water and drain when cooked.

Heat a dash of sesame oil in a large saucepan or wok until it is hot. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilli and stir for 30 seconds.

Toss in the Brussels sprouts and stirfry them for a minute. Add the leftover turkey and ham and stir them over the hot heat.

Add the sherry, soy sauce and stock. Taste and season. Stir in the spring onion and coriander and serve over the noodles.

Turkey and sage croquettes

A dash of olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

25g of butter

100g of flour

200ml of milk

A handful of sage, finely chopped

1 tsp of Dijon mustard

100g of cheddar, coarsely grated

2 tbs of cream

140g of left-over turkey, shredded

2 eggs lightly whisked

140g of bread crumbs

Oil for frying

Cranberry sauce for serving

These are fiddly little things to make but they taste great as in these strange lazy days between Christmas and the New Year.

Heat a dash of oil and sauté the shallots over a low heat with a lid on until they are completely soft.

In the meantime melt the butter until it is starting to foam, stir in half of the flour over the heat and add the milk and whisk it in until it forms a sauce. Stir in the thyme, sage, mustard and cheese while it is over a low heat.

Add the cream and turkey to the sauce and stir them in.

Taste and season especially with black pepper. Set this aside in the fridge in a covered bowl for at least four hours or preferably overnight.

Set out the egg into a bowl. Place the remaining 50g of flour in another and the breadcrumbs in another.

Roll the turkey mixture into little balls and roll them in the flour. Dip each one into the egg and then the breadcrumbs.

Heat the oil to hot and drop each croquette into it and fry until golden. Serve with the cranberry sauce to dip into.

Turkey and melted camembert sandwich

8 thick slices of bread

2 tbs of cranberry sauce

left-over turkey, broken into pieces

2 stems of thyme, removed from the stalk

4 thick slices of camembert style cheese

A handful of baby spinach

1 pomegranate, seeds removed

½ tsp of chilli flakes

The juice of half a lime

A small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

Spread the cranberry sauce onto four slices of bread then top each of the four slices with the turkey and sprinkle on the thyme, a little salt and some cracked black pepper. Lay a slice of the cheese on each and place under a grill.

Sit the spinach on top of the melted cheese and sit the other slice of bread on top, pressing down so they stick nicely together.

Serve with the pomegranate salsa on the side:

Stir the pomegranate seeds with the lime juice, chilli and the finely chopped parsley. Season to taste.

This is nice to sit on the side to let the flavours blend and mingle.

Jam tarts

225g of flour

1 pinch of salt

140g of cold butter, cut into cubes

55g of castor sugar

1 egg

4 tbsp of runny jam. I like to use raspberry or blackcurrant

Mix the flour and salt. Rub in butter, do not over mix. Stir the sugar into the eggs, mix it lightly and add to the flour. I combine it with a fork at first and then bring it together with my hands.

Rest the pastry for about three hours in the fridge or over night. You can make this a few days in advance if you wish.

For the jam tarts use a regular size cupcake tin. Grease it lightly and dust with flour.

Roll the pastry on a flour-dusted surface and cut into 16 circles large enough to fit into the holes in the tin.

Gently place them in the greased tin and place a small spoon of jam in the centre. Leave room all around so that the jam does not spill over.

Cover the top if you wish. I like to create a lattice with thin strips of pastry or to cut out pastry stars and pop them on top or little stars look lovely and festive.

Let to cool down in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Bake for about 15 minutes at 180C. Allow to cool in the tin for five minutes and then gently pop them out with a butter knife. Sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar.

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