If there’s really such a thing as the “holiday blues,” it’s probably taking place right after Christmas. As the anticipation of opening gifts dies down and the heroin-like food highs subside, we are left with nothing but a kaleidoscope of unrecyclable gift wrap and half-eaten bone-in meats with their now-soggy counterparts. However, I’ve learned throughout the years that there is a glimmering hope to revive the latter and keep that holiday spirit going just before you re-indulge into the New Year.Christmas leftovers is not just about having the exact ingredients on hand; it’s about adapting them to conform to these recipes. Consider this the plug-and-play world of leftovers! If your baked ham is actually a smoked turkey, don’t let that stop you from dicing it up and integrating it into my deep-fried mac and cheese balls. After all, the blues come just once a year… Make the most of it (until New Year’s Day, of course). Here are five leftover recipes for this holiday season:
Apricot and Brie Grilled Sandwich
I once proclaimed that a combination of any bread, any cheese, and any preserves yields an eye-opening twist on the classic grilled cheese. With the myriad of leftover soft cheese this holiday season, there should be no shortage of ingredients to make these lip-smacking treats.
What to do with all of the bars of chocolate you were gifted this year? Sure, you can chew on them one by one, but what about drinking them with this scrumptiously self-indulgent dessert soup instead? The soup is like hot chocolate that’s so thick and rich that you need a spoon to eat it. It may not cure your cold, but it certainly will warm your heart.
Cuban Sandwich Casserole
How on earth do you serve a pressed sandwich to a bunch of your closest friends for dinner? Unless you own a dry cleaner’s giant trouser press, you’re going to need to try it my way. The simple instructions below will allow you pack your leftover hams into one of my favorite culinary forms — the casserole!
Deep-Fried Christmas Ham Mac and Cheese
How do you improve on one of the most popular Christmas dishes? Easy. Fire up the deep fryer! You have not lived until you’ve tried this guiltiest of pleasures. Just don’t make it a habit.
Grilled Meat with Guasacaca Sauce
Here’s the plan: Take all of your leftover Christmas meats and make a batch of my guasacaca and tell everyone to drizzle it over everything — meat, chicken, fish — even vegetables and potatoes! Bask in their immediate adulation as you become a neighborhood hero. (Then tell everyone to buy my book.)
The accompanying slideshow is provided by The Daily Meal staff member, Milagros Cruz.