How to cook Christmas dinner like a professional chef – and the best way to use leftovers | UK News

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

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

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He said: “During this busy holiday season there is always some sort of leftover in my fridge/freezer but the constant is always leftover rice. I look to the Japanese for inspiration and go with a warming Chazuke – it’s a simple blend of warm green tea or broth poured over the leftover rice, topped with seasonings you like from soy, sesame seeds, seaweed or even small pieces of flaked fish.

“A beautifully comforting meal on a cold London morning.”

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Aman Lakhiani

Christian Onia, head chef at SUMI, also gives his leftovers a makeover: “Most tasty items can be given a new life, simply with a dash of olive oil, a little garlic and a pinch of paprika. Most leftovers are already seasoned, these three ingredients works to refresh and elevate the existing flavors of a dish – why not try this technique with roasted carrots or leftover Brussels sprouts for a smoky vegetable side dish that goes well with cold leftovers.”

Christian Onia
Picture:
Christian Onia

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

She said: “Just tear up the leftover turkey and combine with some stock and double cream, along with thyme, bay leaves, potatoes, onions, leeks, celery and carrots, plus some crispy bacon lardons for the ultimate Christmas Day meal.

“Best served with a warm, crispy roll – this is comfort food at its best!”

Natalie Coleman
Picture:
Natalie Coleman

Vivek Singh, head chef and managing director of The Cinnamon Collection, said: “At Christmas I like to use leftover turkey in the ultimate Boxing Day roast curry with mustard seeds, onions, curry leaves, turmeric and a tin or two of coconut milk!

“Trust me, it’s the cheapest and fastest way to find yourself in Kerala on Boxing Day without having to fly!”

Vivek Singh
Picture:
Vivek Singh

Robert Pearce, head chef at Bokan, suggests cooking your potatoes ahead of time to guarantee the perfect crispiness.

He said: “Cut the potato into desired shape, place in a pot of cold water, bring to a boil and cook for 1-3 minutes, depending on size. Then cool the potatoes in ice water until chilled, then strain and dry well before partially roast them in the oven at 130C for 4-5 minutes.

“Take them out of the oven and when they’re cold, put them in a tupperware and keep in the freezer until you’re ready to cook. When December 25th comes, take them out of the freezer and bake at 180C until they’re brown, sprinkle a little salt and enjoy!”

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