- Chef Travis Harvey advises carving turkey and ham off the bone after dinner
- He says slices of meat and poultry can be kept in the freezer for three months
- Make prawns last longer by peeling them before storing in the freezer
- Iced cakes last for three months in the freezer but six months without icing
No matter how hard you try, chances are you’ll still be looking at some leftovers from Christmas dinner this week.
But you can avoid eating endless turkey sandwiches and make the remnants of your gigantic meal go further by storing it correctly.
FEMAIL has compiled some tips and tricks to reduce your food waste and help you enjoy delicious meals well into the New Year…
Lovely leftovers: Slice turkey off the bone and it will keep in the freezer for three months
TURKEY AND HAM
Sydney chef Travis Harvey advises carving all turkey and ham from the bone after Christmas to ensure it stays fresh.
As long as they are carved shortly after cooking, slices of turkey and ham can be stored in the freezer in a container for up to three months, Mr Harvey says in a post for OzHarvest.
To ensure you’re not eating food that’s gone bad, label bags and containers with the date you put them in the freezer.
Simple: Peeled prawns last longer and can be kept in the freezer for up to three months
How do I keep food safe?
The NSW Environment Protection Authority’s Love Food Hate Waste page has these tips to keep your food safe:
Check the food labels
Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling food.
Keep your kitchen, food preparation and food storage areas spotlessly clean.
Check your fridge and freezer temperature to make sure your food is kept cool enough to stop bacteria growing.
Separate raw food (especially meat, poultry and seafood) from ready-to-eat food and use colour-coded chopping boards if possible.
Make sure all food (especially meat, poultry and seafood) is cooked thoroughly. Heat kills bacteria.
PRAWNS AND SEAFOOD
To make prawns last longer, peel them before storing in the freezer for up to three months, according to Mr Harvey.
You could also put prawns into rice paper rolls and freeze those for a quick meal when you fancy it.
Mr Harvey also advises freezing prawn shells first before disposing of them to avoid a smelly rubbish bin.
According to the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s Love Food Hate Waste page, if your freezer can maintain a temperature of minus 18°C or colder, lean seafood such as prawns, bream, whiting, snapper, lobsters and scallops will keep for nine months to a year.
But fatty seafood, such as mullet, will keep for only three to four months.
‘If freezing fish, clean and prepare it as if you were going to eat it and freeze as fillets. You can freeze a whole clean fish, if you want to cook and serve it whole. Make sure you label and date the fish,’ the website advises.
Have your cake and eat it: Cakes with icing last for three months in the freezer, but for six months without icing
Chances are you weren’t able to get through the entire Christmas cake after dinner – but fortunately they can last a good while when stored in an airtight container.
If a cake has been iced after it has cooled, that can help increase its shelf-life by cutting down on moisture loss and preventing it from going stale.
Love Food Hate Waste advises wrapping cakes tightly in clingfilm or foil to remove any air before freezing.
Frozen cakes with icing will last for about three months and for six months without icing.
Cheesy does it! Soft cheeses should be stored in waxed cheese paper and hard cheeses in plastic wrap
Soft cheeses, like Camembert, should be stored in waxed cheese paper or baking paper.
Food experts advise people to avoid using plastic wrap because it will cause the cheese to sweat.
Blue cheese can be wrapped in foil, but remember to change the foil every few days as acidity will attack the foil.
Hard cheeses, like cheddar or Parmesan, can be stored in plastic wrap or airtight containers.
If you bought far too many eggs to Christmas baking, but didn’t end up using them all, not to worry. The easiest way to store them is in the fridge in the carton they came in.
Test for freshness by checking if the egg sinks in a bowl or glass of water. Fresh eggs will stay at the bottom, but stale eggs float to the top.
But if your want to store for longer, eggs can be frozen too.
According to Love Food Hate Waste, you lightly beat whole eggs and add either a teaspoon of salt or a tablespoon of sugar for every six eggs.
Freeze the eggs in small amounts of one or two and they should keep for up to 10 months.
Use the salted yolks in savoury dishes and the sugared yolks for cakes, custards and desserts – but don’t forget to label them – and use the eggs straight away when thawed, in dishes that require cooking only.