What to do with those holiday leftovers?

The women in my family have an unnatural fear of not having enough food at gatherings. I am not sure where this comes from since we generally always have way more than we need. This doesn’t matter, the fear remains. As a result, we always end up with leftover food. Usually a lot of it. This Christmas was no exception.

I am not a huge fan of left overs in original form. I like to figure out things to do with leftover food to transform it into something new. This year my leftover beef tenderloin roast, red wine and bacon bits became Beef, Mushroom and VegetablePub Pie. Leftover spinach artichoke dip, Canadian bacon, fat free half and half and cheese became a breakfast quiche that we enjoyed on New Year’s day. With a few addition ingredients, most of which I had on hand, I was able to create some very tasty dishes that didn’t seem like left overs at all!

Beef, Mushroom and Vegetable Pub Pie

Beef, Mushroom and Vegetable Pub Pie
1⁄2 – 3⁄4 pound left over cooked beef roast, whatever you have on hand
1 can potatoes (or 1 cup cubed cooked potatoes)
6-8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 small bag mixed frozen vegetables (or left over veggies if you have them) 1⁄2 cup brandy
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons bacon bits (optoinal)
fresh herbs (tarragon, sage, thyme, rosemary, basil – whatever you have on hand) Flour (to thicken gravy)
Salt and Pepper to taste
refrigerator pie crust
Pre-heat over to 350. Sauté shallots in butter. When softened, add garlic and sauté about 1 minute longer. Add brandy and bring to a simmer. Add wine and herbs (sprigs) and simmer until reduced to 1 cup. Add beef stock and simmer for 20-30 minutes. While sauce is simmering, cut beef and potatoes into small cubes. Have a glass of the left over wine.
Once sauce has simmered and reduced a bit, remove the sprigs of herbs and add the beef and bacon bits. Bring back to a simmer and, if desired, sprinkle and blend in a bit of flour to thicken the sauce to desired consistency. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a large, deep dish pie pan or casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Fit pie crust over the top. Place in oven and back until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Have another glass of wine and enjoy.


Spinach, Artichoke and Leek Quiche

1 dozen eggs
2 Leeks
6 – 8 oz sliced mushrooms
1⁄2 cup ham, Canadian Bacon, bacon or sausage
1⁄2 grated cheese (use 3⁄4 cup of cheese if you don’t use the spinach artichoke dip) 1⁄2 left over spinach artichoke dip (optional)
1⁄2 cup of fat free half and half (or regular)
1 – 2 Tbs butter
1 pre-made pie crust
Place pie crust in pan and pre-bake according to instructions. Set aside.
Clean and slice leeks. Sauté leeks in the butter until soft, adding mushrooms and meat about half way into the cooking process. Once leeks are soft. Remove from the heat. Mix 6 whole eggs and 6 egg whites with spinach artichoke dip and half and half until well blended. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Spread leek mixture in the bottom of the pie shell. Pour egg mixture gently over the top. Sprinkle with cheese on top (you can also fold the cheese into the egg mixture if desired). Bake in a 350 degree oven until set (about 20-30 minutes or a little more).

Play with the recipes based on what you have left over.  Have fun and Happy New Year!