Christmas recipes and cooking advice
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Don't toss the turkey!

By MSN NZ staff
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When the thrill of Christmas is over, you're recovering from ingesting 12 days worth of food and drink in 24 hours, and you're stuck with a fridge full of festive leftovers — again.

Despite the annual promise of "next year, we're having a barbecue and salad", there's always half a turkey and at least 3kg of glazed ham left over, and never enough people to palm it off to. And seriously, if it can take a continental deli weeks to get through one leg of ham, so how long will it be until you see the back of it?

What if you could turn the excess into scrumptious party treats for New Year's Eve and summer's endless outdoor events? Just think of the money you'll save and the landfill you won't contribute to.

Here are six delicious ideas to help you empty your fridge of its festive remnants.

1. Mini quiches
Mini quiches are a finger-food favourite. Ham can be used to make mini-quiche Lorraines or try combining it with corn kernels for some extra sweetness and crunch. Turkey goes well with leek or asparagus. Have you got vegetable leftovers from Christmas dinner? Why not throw them in too, or make some mini-vegie quiches for your vegetarian friends. They'll love you for it.

2. Homemade pizza
What's a pizza without a little ham …or a lot, depending on how big that leg in the fridge is. Pizza is the perfect party food, hot or cold. Use traditional pizza bases, or try substituting them with pita bread or Mountain Bread if you're looking for a lighter option.

3. Mini turkey and cranberry vol-au-vents
It couldn't be easier. Thaw 15 vol-au-vent shells. Fill a bowl with 85g of softened cream cheese, one-third of a cup of chopped leftover turkey (cooked, of course) and two stems of minced spring onions and mix well. Spoon the mix into the vol-au-vent shells and top with a dab of cranberry sauce. It'll be done in 20 minutes.

4. Mexicano madness
We all love a bit of Mexican to prolong the festive spirit so take that turkey and get taco-ing! Fry it up with some diced onions, red kidney beans and a tin of chopped tomatoes, and fill those taco shells with the rest of your favourites. It's a great quick meal before heading out with friends.

5. Lunch on baked potatoes
Baked potatoes are not only low in fat, but they're light, easy to make and pretty darn satisfying. Grab your baked potato (cooked in the oven or microwave), add a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of chives or spring onions and top it off with some of that delicious glazed Christmas ham as a finishing touch. It's a healthy and filling meal in one.

6. Stock for soup
While winter might seem an age away, it'll be beating on your door before you know it. Once all the turkey meat has been used, take the bones or carcass to cook up a delicious stock, then freeze it until the big pots come out for those warming winter soups.

And here are some Quick and easy recipes for your leftover Christmas chicken


See more Christmas cooking stories

User comments
Make a pie. Use Flakey puff pastry, put some cranberry and stuffing on bottom pastry. Place left over meat on top then make thick gravy with jelly from turkey. Pour over meat,put pastry lid on the top and cook.

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