Play Hard

Make the most of your Christmas leftovers with these three recipes

Fancy cheese and potato pie, crunchy sprout slaw and creamy Christmas pudding ice cream? Even better, all of the ingredients are likely to be in your fridge RN.

Written by High Life North
Published 25.12.2020

By Dotty in the Kitchen

Cheese and Potato Pie

As Christmas feasting starts to wind down, you might find yourself with a collection of odds and ends of cheese in the fridge. A slightly crusty looking Brie, a dry end of Comte, or some blue cheese that you swear is looking bluer than when you bought it…This recipe is the perfect way to use up all of those leftover bits and pieces.

Serves 4

  • 4 medium white onions
  • 1 tbsp butter and a glug of olive oil
  • Sprig of thyme
  • Salt
  • 3 large handfuls spinach
  • 8 medium waxy potatoes
  • 75ml double cream + 45ml cream,
  • 200g leftover cheese pieces, crumbled or roughly chopped
  • 1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 1 beaten egg

Peel and halve the white onions, slicing them into thin slivers or half-moons. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and a glug of olive oil until the butter is foaming.

Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium-low. Season with a pinch of sea salt and the sprig of thyme, then allow the onions to sweat slowly. Stir occasionally. When they’re done they should be reduced in volume by about half and just starting to turn a gooey caramel colour in places.

Meanwhile, wash the spinach. In a large dry saucepan, wilt the spinach down. Drain it and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Roughly chop the spinach and set aside.

Slice the potatoes thinly (no need to peel), like you would for dauphinoise. You want them to be about the thickness of a coin – if they’re too thick they might not cook properly in the pie. Place them in a saucepan (I re-used the pan I’d wilted the spinach in) and cover them with cold, salted water.

Bring the potatoes to the boil and immediately turn them off and drain. Don’t overcook them as you want them to hold in the pie. Whilst they’re still hot, add 75ml of cream and about half your cheese mixture to the potatoes. Mix well to create a thick creamy sauce around the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a splash more cream if needed.

Add the remaining 45ml cream to the softened onions, and check the seasoning. Spread the onion mix over the base of your pie dish. Next, scatter over a layer of the chopped wilted spinach.

Scatter half of your remaining cheese mixture over before topping with the potatoes. Scatter over the rest of the cheese and push everything down. You should see a bit of liquid squelching up the sides as you press down.

Add the pastry topping and egg wash it.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180c for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Allow the pie to stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve alongside a crunchy green salad spiked with slices of apple and celery, served with a punchy mustardy dressing.

Sprout Slaw

Love them or loath them, sprouts are a fundamental part of Christmas. The finely shredded ribbons of sprout are slightly bitter, which contrasts beautifully to the sharp sweet pops of pomegranate. Add a few slices of turkey, maybe a couple of pigs in blankets, and you’ve got yourself a lovely leftovers salad. This would also be a great side dish to the pie above!

Serves 2

  • 8-10 large sprouts
  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 8g coriander
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Trim the sprouts to remove any dry brown pieces. Remove any outer leaves that look a little worse for wear.

Cut them in half, then shred them finely. Place into a bowl.

Finely dice the red onion and roughly chop the coriander. Add them to the bowl, along with the pomegranate seeds.

Dress the whole thing with 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, the lemon juice and about 1/8 tsp salt. Toss the salad together and serve straight away.

Christmas Pudding Ice Cream

This recipe is taken from my book, Dotty’s Little Christmas Cookbook which is filled with recipes designed for small scale festive dining. A whole Christmas Pudding can be a bit much if it’s just the two of you, so I developed this super easy recipe as a way to use up the leftovers.

Serves 4-6

  • 200ml double cream
  • 100ml condensed milk
  • 4tsp brandy
  • 170g cooked Christmas pudding

Pour the cream and condensed milk into a bowl and whisk until it is thick and voluptuous.

Crumble up the Christmas pudding and fold it through the cream, along with the brandy.

Pour the mix into a container and transfer it to the freezer for at least four hours.

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