New life for festive leftovers

Leftovers make the perfect turnovers.
Leftovers make the perfect turnovers.

It's become a bit competitive in our family regarding who can make something new with the Christmas Day leftovers. I am right up to the task this year with a simple but tasty (how could leftovers, new potatoes, carrots, peas, roast beef and gravy not be tasty) turnover.

The pastry can be made a couple days prior - in fact it will turn out better made and rested in the fridge for a couple of days. Time-wise, it will only take a few minutes to roll out the pastry and cut squares ready to complete these really tasty turnovers on Boxing Day.

With new potatoes as a base, any other leftover vegetables will be welcomed and if there are insufficient I will simply add some wilted spinach to the mix. Potatoes and carrots and any other chunky vegetables will be chopped to about 1cm dice. The beef could also be sliced or diced then added to the vegetables and moistened with a little of the leftover gravy. To add a little more taste, some wasabi, mustard or horseradish cream could also be added to the gravy adding a subtle but useful flavour dimension to the overall dish.

While I will make individual turnovers, you could just as easily make a large flan or pie if that was to be easier.

Providing the mixture for the centre is reasonably moist you will not need another sauce to go with the turnovers or pie, however should you chose to add a sauce a homemade plum or apricot would suffice very well. I will add a little grated gruyere cheese to my turnovers.

The cheese will add to the moisture of the centre and also give another dimension to both the texture and the taste of the finished product.

CHRISTMAS LEFTOVER TURNOVERS Make 6-8 individual turnovers

Pastry ingredients

1 cups flour

Good pinch of sea salt

110g cold butter, diced into 1cm pieces

110ml ice cold water

Method Place the flour, salt and butter into the bowl of a food processor and pulse together until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Now dribble in the water while continuing to pulse the processor until it forms a rough dough.

Remove from the processor and place onto a clean surface and knead lightly, then press into a disc wrapped tightly in vinyl wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or a couple of days if you have the chance.

For the filling Simply follow the suggestions above or utilise any other leftovers you may have as your filling for your tasty turnovers.

To make the turnovers Heat the oven to 190-200deg Celsius.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a clean, floured surface to about 4mm thick and cut into squares of about 8x8cm. Beat 1 egg and have ready with a pastry brush.

Place a dollop of your filling mixture into the centre of each of the squares; top the filling with grated cheese at this stage if you wish to use it.

With a pastry brush, brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg.

Fold the corners over to form a triangle, gently massaging the filling as you go so it fills the pastry leaving about a centimetre clear around the edge for you to seal.

Press the edges down with the prongs of a fork and cut a couple of incisions in the top.

Place the completed turnovers on a baking sheet and lightly brush with the beaten egg. Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.

Once cooked cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack and enjoy.

* Graham Hawkes operates the Paddington Arms in Invercargill.

The Southland Times