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Don’t Know What To Do With Your Noche Buena Leftovers? Cook These Comfort Food Faves In No Time At All

Christmas morning is one of the laziest days of the year. You feel too tired to get up, but you’re hungry—and so is the rest of your family. You walk barefoot into the kitchen and discover all the leftover food from the previous night’s festivities. So you begin thinking about whether you should store them in the refrigerator, or maybe you should just give them away… but then again, no one likes receiving leftovers, and the refrigerator is already way too full! What do you do? I say why not create sumptuous new dishes from these leftovers? Here are some suggestions.

 

Breakfast Casserole

Feel free to use any other leftover proteins like turkey, ham, lechon, bacon or roasted chicken. You can repurpose any kind of leftover bread too. You can also bake it in individual ramekins or in a rectangular ovenproof glass dish.

Serves 4

  • 2 cups leftover bread pieces, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded lechon meat or any protein left over from noche buena (ham, roast chicken, etc.)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 350°F and grease two muffin pans.
  2. Place bread pieces at the bottom of the muffin pans.
  3.  Place shredded meat on top of the bread pieces.
  4.  Sprinkle 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese over the meat.
  5.  Beat 6 eggs with milk and pour over the meat and cheese mixture.
  6.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and season with salt and pepper.
  7.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the eggs are set.

 

 

The Day After Christmas Noodles

You can use other kinds of sharp and hard cheeses, but it is important to use cheddar cheese to thicken the sauce. Higher-end ramen noodles are good too, but do not overcook them. You can also add cream to make it even more decadent.

Serves 2 to 4

  • water (amount according to package instructions)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup grated queso de bola
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 packages instant ramen
  • 1 cup minced Christmas ham
  1. Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce to a simmer.
  2. In a pot, add the water, butter, olive oil and a good amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Add cheese and stir, then quickly add the ramen.
  4. Mix up the noodles, and when they separate, stir them constantly until the noodles are soft and completely covered in the sauce. Toss in the ham.
  5. Serve in a bowl, and add more freshly ground pepper on top.

 

A longer version of this article appeared in FOOD Magazine, Issue 4 2016

Text, recipes and styling by Pixie Rodrigo Sevilla

Photography by Paulo Valenzuela