Use up your leftovers

There are a lot of meats we tend to serve at holidays or for Sunday dinners. And although we all love them the first time they appear on the table, our enthusiasm can wane if they don’t get eaten up quickly enough.
This week, I dug out some recipes that may inspire you to use up all those leftovers after the new has worn off.

Ham and Swiss Cheese Casserole
2 cups egg noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 (6 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 cup diced Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add egg noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F Toss drained noodles with two teaspoons of the oil. Heat remaining oil in a skillet and sauté onion over medium heat until soft. Combine noodles, onion, mushrooms, ham, Swiss cheese, salt and pepper. Transfer to a greased three-quart casserole dish. In a bowl mix together egg and milk; pour over noodle mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Fresh Fish Cakes
1 cup cold leftover fish (bones removed)
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
Dash of salt, pepper & garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 small onion, grated
Canola oil

Shred fish and mix with mashed potatoes and seasonings. Add beaten egg and onion. Spray hands with non-stick cooking spray and shape mixture into small cakes. Dredge in flour and fry in 1/2 to 1 inch of hot oil. Drain on paper towel. Good served with grits.

Leftover Pork Stir-Fry
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups prepared vegetables, such as snow peas, carrots, mushrooms, squash
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups leftover pork tenderloin, sliced
1 orange, cut in half

In a large wok over high heat, add olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about two minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the leftover pork tenderloin and squeeze one whole orange over the stir-fry. Stir to combine and serve immediately.

30-minute Shepherd’s Pie
2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons sour cream or softened cream cheese
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup cream, for a lighter version substitute vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it
1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.
While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for three or four minutes. If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat.
Cook veggies with meat five minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together two minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy one minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.
Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil six to eight inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.