There’s little more satisfying than a festive leftover. G&G house rules mean that anything not eaten, even a meagre spoonful of congealed cheesy leeks, gets cling filmed, fridged and considered for anything up to 5 days before it is grudgingly, and I hasten to add, rarely, disposed of.

Leftovers present any cook with a creative challenge and there’s no doubt that Christmas leftovers constitute the easiest and most pleasurable of these puzzles. Pretty much everything we eat at Christmastime goes together: goose, dried fruits, brandy, spices, oranges, ham…: any combination has potential, so you can’t to go far wrong. (Christmas cake and cheddar is a favourite)

And after 10 days of utter indulgence, it’s not surprising that I have a fridge full of little  tupperwares, tinfoil parcels and cling filmed bowls that need using up.

I begin with the obligatory turkey sandwich:

Christmas Club Sandwich

turkey club

In the following order: Crusty white bread. Butter. Leaves. Turkey. Bacon. Stuffing. Mayonnaise. Crusty white bread. Done. (No cranberry sauce – it’s not a jam sandwich now is it)

Mulled Cider

All those oranges, cloves and cinnamon sticks won’t keep til next year so put them to good use now with a warming wassailing tipple.

  • 1 bottle medium dry cider
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cinammon stick
  • 100ml sloe gin
  • Honey to taste

Pop the cider, cloves, star anise and cinnamon in a bowl and heat gently. Halve the orange, squeeze the juice of one half into the cider and pop the other half in the cider un-squeezed. Warm through, remove from the heat and leave to infuse of half an hour. When ready to serve, pop it back on the heat, bring to a simmer and add the sloe gin and honey to taste.  Serve with a piece of orange peel and a chunk of cinnamon.

mulled cider

Christmas Pudding Ice Cream

I don’t understand people who, at first sight the christmas pudding bleat, “oh but it’s so rich, and I’ve eaten so much already, I couldn’t possibly. And heavens, certainly not with custard as well“. It’s alien to me. At g&g towers it only comes with custard. And it comes in large portions. Get over it.

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 large handfuls of cooked and cooled christmas pudding
  • A slug of cognac

xmas pudding ice creamScald the milk and cream in a pan together with the scraped vanilla seeds and empty pod. Meanwhile, beat the egg and sugar together. Once hot, gradually pour the milk and cream over the egg mix, whisking constantly. Return to the pan over a low heat and bring the custard 79 degrees, stirring all the while. Once thickened, pour the custard into a cool bowl, crumble in the christmas pudding plus a glut of cognac and chill. Churn in your ice-cream maker as instructed.