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How To Cook Christmas Dinner Like A Professional Chef - And The Best Way To Use Leftovers

Saturday, 24 December 2022 06:00

By (C) Sky News: Megan Baynes, cost of living reporter

From loving your leftovers to secret ingredients to spice up your meal, five more professional chefs have given their insight on how to keep your Christmas spread special despite the cost of living crisis.

For Aman Lakhiani, chef patron at Junsei, leftover rice is key this Christmas.

He said:

"During this busy holiday season there is always some sort of leftover food in my fridge/freezer, but the one constant is that there is always leftover rice. I look to the Japanese for inspiration and go with a warming Chazuke - it is a simple concoction of warm green tea or broth poured over the leftover rice, topped with any condiments you like from soy, sesame seeds, seaweed or even little bits of flaked fish.

"A beautiful comforting meal on a cold London morning."

Christian Onia, head chef at SUMI, also gives his leftovers a makeover:

"Most savoury items can be given a new lease of life, simply with a dash of olive oil, some garlic, and a pinch of paprika. As most leftovers are already seasoned, these three ingredients work to refresh and elevate the existing flavours of a dish - why not try this technique with roasted carrots or leftover Brussels sprouts for a smoky vegetable side dish to go with cold leftover cuts of meat."

Natalie Coleman, head chef at The Oyster Shed, recommends using those leftovers in a chowder.

She said:

"Simply shred the leftover turkey and combine with some stock and double cream, along with thyme, bay leaves, potatoes, onion, leek, celery, and carrots, plus some crispy bacon lardons for the ultimate Boxing Day meal.

"Best served with a warm, crusty bread roll - this is comfort food at its finest!"

Vivek Singh, executive chef and CEO of The Cinnamon Collection, said:

"At Christmas, I like to use left-over turkey in the ultimate Boxing Day stir fry curry with mustard seeds, onions, curry leaves, turmeric and a tin or two of coconut milk!

"Trust me, it's the cheapest and quickest way to find yourself in Kerala on Boxing Day without having to take a flight!"

Robert Pearce, executive chef at Bokan, suggests preparing your potatoes ahead of time to guarantee that perfect crisp.

He said:

"Cut the potato into the desired shape, add to a pot with cold water, then bring to the boil and cook for 1-3 minutes, depending on the size. After that, cool the potatoes in ice-water until chilled, then strain and dry really well before part-cooking them in the oven a 130C for 4-5 minutes.

"Remove from the oven, and when cold, put them in a tupperware and store in the freezer until you are ready to cook. When the 25 December arrives, remove them from the freezer and cook at 180C until browned, sprinkle some salt and enjoy!"

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