Holiday leftovers reinvented

Well I like to think of this blog as oriented toward healthy living, but you really wouldn’t know that if you’ve just started reading in the last two weeks, huh? While I am particular about eating real, minimally processed ingredients and making things from scratch, I think everything is okay in moderation, and enjoying sweet and buttery indulgences during the holiday season is fine by me.

Nonetheless, I am really getting sick of heavy, calorie-laden holiday foods, but I still have so many leftovers to work through before I can move on.  With meats and plain vegetables, cooking them together in a soup or stew, or making a sandwich or salad is always a good option.  But what about those random dishes and unused ingredients you’ve got sitting in your fridge?  Here are a few creative ideas we have done…

Mashed potato fritters
Since you’re using leftovers, the hardest part of this recipe is already complete.  We had a huge portion of mashed parsnips leftover, which works equally well, as would sweet potatoes.  Mix in an egg with a pinch of baking powder, and form dough into patties.  Coat with flour and pan fry until golden and crisp.  The inside stays perfectly creamy.

Homemade butter

Santa brought me some supplies to get me started in the art of cheesemaking!  I’m still waiting on some necessary items to arrive, but now that I have the instruction manual for my own home creamery, I thought I’d put the leftover heavy cream to use and make some butter.

Directions

Let cream stand at room temperature for about 3 hours to ripen.

Pour into a 1 quart canning jar and shake vigorously for 5-10 minutes to churn.

You will eventually see the butter form and separate from the buttermilk.

Pour off the buttermilk and reserve.  Continue to rinse the butter repeatedly with cold water and pour off until water runs clear.

Add salt (not table salt), if desired, which also helps preserve the butter.  Refrigerate overnight and enjoy your own homemade butter.

Now use that reserved buttermilk to make…

Buttermilk biscuits with cheddar and herbs

Sometimes, Mr. R will wake up before dawn to whip up a batch of these to have for breakfast before school.  No lie.

2 cups AP flour
Heaping 1/2 tablespoon salt
3.25 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons chilled shortening or butter, or a mixture of the two
4 ounces sharp cheddar
1 teaspoon dried herbs (such as Italian seasoning, herbes de Provence, etc)
7/8 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 500.

Sift dry ingredients together, then work cold shortening or butter in with your hands.  Mixture should be thoroughly combined.

Stir in the cheese and herbs.

Mix in the buttermilk with a wooden spoon.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead about 10 times.  With your hands, form dough into a rectangle about an inch thick.

Cut using a biscuit cutter or, so as to not waste any dough, just cut into small rectangles.

Bake for about 8 minutes, until lightly golden brown.  Enjoy any time of the day.

Tomorrow I’ll hopefully be back on track with healthy recipes to try out and share.  But for one more day, just enjoy all the butter :).

-R

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