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Transform Your Holiday Food Into Delicious Dishes

With the holidays come a flurry of food with our dining tables and refrigerators lled to the brim with party dishes, perishable food gifts and more. There’s a good chance you have lots of leftovers, giving you the perfect opportunity to recreate a new dish or simply repeat the indulgence of a delicious meal. However, before you enjoy those leftovers, make sure they are still in good form and completely free from spoilage.

You can keep your leftovers contaminant-free by making sure the food is safe to begin with. Start by using clean platters and serving spoons free from water or other traces of food which can speed up bacteria growth. And always have a separate serving spoon for each viand so as not to cross contaminate the dishes with any possible bacteria.

Remember that cooked meats, seafood, vegetables, pizza, soups and casseroles should be eaten within three to four days. Desserts like cream pies and fruit pies should be eaten within three to four days as well. On the other hand, cakes and cheesecakes can stay safe for up to seven days. And always remember, when in doubt—throw out!



Cool food first, then store in airtight containers and refrigerate or freeze to avoid transfer of scents. Don’t let food sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Any more than that and bacteria start to breed.


When reheating food, you should bring it?to a boil or make it reach a temperature of about 165°F, and heat it fast. Slow heating can promote bacteria growth even more. If you plan to use or reheat the food item later than a day, just freeze it rst.


Always label your food containers. Include the name of the dish and the date when it was made. Don’t forget the FIFO ( rst in, rst out) rule when storing in the freezer?or refrigerator. Make sure to properly rotate all the packed food items inside your refrigerator.


Remember you can reheat leftovers only once. So if you have a big batch of excess food, divide it into smaller portions and keep in separate containers. That way you don’t have to reheat the whole batch if you only plan to serve a small portion.


Apple and Lechon Sandwiches


Ingredients and Procedure:

  • 6 pieces pandesal, warmed or toasted
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise?
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • ?2 cups flaked leftover lechon meat
  • 6 slices kesong puti (white cheese)
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • ?1 cup arugula leaves or lettuce

1. Arrange bottom halves of the pandesal on a work surface.

?2. Spread each with mayonnaise. Top each with an overlapping layer of sliced apples and lechon slices.

3. Top with a slice of kesong puti, tomatoes and arugula leaves. Place the top pandesal half on top.?

4. Cut sandwiches in half diagonally and serve.


Paella and Mozzarella Rice Ball


Ingredients and Procedure:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ?3/4 cup all-purpose flour, or more
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ?1 cup panko bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs?
  • 4 cups leftover paella rice?
  • 1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese cooking oil, for frying ?lemon wedges, to serve (optional) chopped parsley, to garnish

1. Lay out 3 plates or shallow bowls. Put the beaten eggs in one bowl, the our seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper in another, and the breadcrumbs in the third one.

2. Roll paella golf ball-sized pieces. Push a mozzarella cube into the middle of each ball, making sure that the cheese is completely enclosed. Let set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

3. Fill a large saucepan 1/3 full of flavorless oil and heat until hot.?

4. Dip a rice ball into the our, shake o any excess, then dip into the beaten egg, allowing any excess to drip o . Finish by coating completely in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining rice balls.?

5. Deep-fry the balls in batches for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

?6. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with mango tomato salsa.


Creamy Christmas Ham and Mushroom Linguine


Ingredients and Procedure:

  • 1/2 cup leftover Christmas ham, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 cup chicken or pasta broth?
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 kilo linguine pasta?
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese?
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into long, thin strips (chiffonade)

1. Sauté ham in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through.

2. Add mushrooms and crushed red pepper to skillet. Cover and cookuntil mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.?

3. Stir the chicken or pasta broth and heavy cream into the skillet. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Cook linguine pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still rm to the bite. Drain pasta and return to the same pot.

5. Add the ham-mushroom mixture and Parmesan cheese to the linguine. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta thickly, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry, about 3 minutes.

6. Season linguine with salt and pepper. Top with basil leaves and serve immediately.