As I’ve reported here before, I’m kind of a nut about leftovers; it’s nearly my hobby to repurpose them. This year’s holiday entertaining has offered me many opportunities … shhh … don’t tell the guests.
A couple of standouts were a quiche appetizer, which was originally the dip from a previous gathering; chopped salad composed of the vegetable side dishes (fennel, green beans, onions, hazelnuts); and a cream-less bisque built on a broth made from the shells of the lobsters from our family feast. The New Year’s Day black-eyed peas that I make for good luck will be pasta e fagioli, and the mulled red wine leftover from post-hiking refreshments that day will become a simple chocolate cake with added illusive flavors. Dried-out Christmas cookies have already been whirred into crumbs in the food processor and frozen to become crumb pie crusts or toppings later in the year.
Here are two of the recipes:
Recipe: Quiche That Was Dip
Prepare the pie crust and line an 8- to 9-inch pie plate or quiche baker. Whisk together the eggs and dip. Thin the mix with enough milk to create a pourable consistency, adding chopped herbs if desired. Fill the prepared pie crust and sprinkle the cheese on top, if using. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until firm, golden and puffed up, 40 to 50 minutes.
Recipe: Cocoa and Red Wine Cake
Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. Whisk together dry ingredients.
In a second bowl, beat together butter and sugar with a hand-held mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and beat 2 more minutes until well-mixed and light. Fold in dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the wine; do not overmix. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes before turning out of the pan. Cool completely and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Serve with whipped cream or best-quality vanilla ice cream.
* I used leftover mulled wine, which was flavored with orange peel, clove, cinnamon and star anise. Adding the grated peel of one orange, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground clove and 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise would approximate my cake. Or, use the orange rind and 1 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder or French quatre epics spice mix.