January 25, 2023

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

For Aman Lakhiani, chef 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 food in my fridge/freezer, but the one constant is that there is always rice left over. I look to the Japanese for inspiration and go for a warming Chazuke – it’s a simple concoction of warm green tea or broth poured over the leftover rice, garnished with any desired seasoning from soy, sesame seeds, seaweed or even small pieces of fish flakes.

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

Aman Lachiani
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Aman Lachiani

Christian Onia, chef at SUMI, also gives his leftovers a makeover: “Most savory items can be given a new lease of life, just with a drizzle of olive oil, some garlic and a pinch of paprika. seasoned, these three ingredients work to refresh and elevate a dish’s existing flavors — try this technique with roasted carrots or leftover Brussels sprouts for a smoky vegetable side dish that pairs with cold leftover cuts of meat.

Christian Onia
Image:
Christian Onia

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

She said: “Just shred the leftover turkey and combine with some stock and heavy cream, along with thyme, bay leaves, potatoes, onion, leek, celery and carrots, plus some crispy bacon bits for the ultimate Boxing Day meal.

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

Natalie Coleman
Image:
Natalie Coleman

Vivek Singh, Executive Chef and CEO of The Cinnamon Collection, said: “At Christmas I like to use leftover turkey in the ultimate Boxing Day stir-fry curry with mustard seeds, onions, curry leaves, turmeric and a can or two of coconut milk!

“Believe me, it’s the cheapest and fastest way to find yourself in Kerala on Boxing Day without having to take a flight!”

Vivek Singh
Image:
Vivek Singh

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

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

Remove them from the oven and when they are cold put them in a tupperware and keep them in the freezer until ready to cook. Take them out of the freezer on December 25th and cook them at 180C until browned, sprinkle with some salt and enjoy!”

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