The holidays are awesome. Everybody makes their best dish, which usually leaves enough food left over for a small army. Rather than continuing to gorge yourself on reheated, plain-old leftovers, here are some ways to help gobble up what's left.
5. Make it with beans - Although this only really works for the meat (and best with ham), it's still a good way to get rid of leftovers. Soak your bean of choice overnight, rinse, toss in some water, cooked onion, a few bullion cubes, and your leftover diced ham or turkey in a crockpot, and by the time you get home at night you will have a pot full of gassy goodness. If using meat from a bone-in ham, put the bone in your pot while cooking as well.
4. Freeze it - Most meat can be frozen for a couple of months without freezer burn for later use in stews and casseroles. Certain sides (like mac and cheese and some veggies) also tend to fare pretty well once reheated, although there is a definite mush factor involved.
3. Pot pies - Nothing beats the (sometimes) cold weather like a steamy, warm pot pie. There are fancier ways to make a pot pie, but in this case, the simplest things tend to work best. Pot pies can usually be made with things you have in the freezer or pantry, with about 20 minutes or less prep time. Make a crust of your choice (enough for a double crust) or cheat with a refrigerated crust, press half into the bottom and sides of a pie or casserole pan. Mix together a can of cream of mushroom, about a cup each of frozen mixed veggies and cubed leftover meat, plus a little of your favorite seasonings, and add to the pie. Top with the second crust, cut a couple of slits in the top for ventilation, and bake at 350 for about an hour.
2. Sandwiches - There is something glorious about a leftover sandwich. Sliced turkey with pesto and caramelized onions and mayo... Ham and turkey with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. Toss on some cheese and toast it all together, and it's heaven in a bun.
1. Take it to work - When all else fails, and the possibility of you finishing half a turkey's worth of leftover seems grim, bring it to someone else to eat. Think of it as a leftover potluck - someone is bound to not be able to pass up free food.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.