Here’s a quick questionnaire for you.

On Boxing Day do you:

a) Have an intricate balancing system going on in your fridge consisting of all the leftover sides, mains and desserts you and your friends and family have consumed over the last few days?

b) Have three-quarters of Aunty Pam’s panettone staring at you from the bench?

c) Realise you have, yet again, over-ordered on the ham?

d) All of the above?

If you answered yes to any of the options above, it looks like you need the helping hand of some no fuss recipes you can whip up based on what’s hanging around in your fridge.

Up to 40 per cent of the average household bin is food. That means in each of these homes, around $1,000 worth of food is thrown away every year – enough to buy a whole month’s worth of food.

Peter Gilmore, Neil Perry and head chef at Lucio’s, Logan Campbell have come to lend a hand this year, thanks to OzHarvest. They’ve shared their favourite ‘food rescue’ recipes below.

If you cooked a ham, try; Peter Gilmore’s garlic custard with smoked ham juices and peas (Serves eight)


1 leftover smoked ham bone
20g butter
1 tablespoon plain flour
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
800ml milk
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 eggs
½ onion, diced
6 egg yolks
1 ½  litres (6 cups) good-quality chicken stock
500g shelled fresh peas, or frozen baby peas

Dust the ham bone with the flour. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the ham bone and fry over medium heat until golden brown all over. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for one minute. Add the chicken stock and stir well. Simmer over medium heat for 90 minutes or until the stock has reduced by half and slightly thickened. Strain and remove any fat from the surface with a ladle. Set aside.

Meanwhile, to make the custard, melt the butter in a saucepan and gently sauté the garlic for one minute, being careful not to let it colour. Pour in the milk and bring close to boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain the milk and discard the garlic. Add a couple of pinches of sea salt to taste.

In a bowl, whist the eggs and egg yolks together and then slowly pour into the infused milk while continuing to whisk. Pour the custard into eight Chinese rice bowls. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap and steam in a large bamboo steamer for about eight minutes over gently simmering water, or until the custard has set.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil and blanch the peas for one minute. Reheat the smoked ham stock. Strain the peas and immediately add to the stock. Uncover the bowls of custard and divide the peas and ham stock between them.

Note: you’ll have egg whites left over from this recipe. Pop them in an airtight container and freeze until you have enough to make a pavlova.

If you made chicken or turkey, try; Neil Perry’s Oz Harvest chicken salad (Serves 4)


½ yesterday’s roast turkey
1 small red onion, finely sliced
1 tomato finely sliced
1 small handful mint roughly torn
½ mignonette lettuce, leaves torn
1½ tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed


1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 small green chillies, finely sliced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons tamarind water
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
½ teaspoon sea salt

To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Remove the chicken meat from the bones and roughly shred or slice it thickly across the grain. Put the chicken, onion, tomato, and herbs in a bowl, drizzle with dressing and gently toss to combine. Put the lettuce on a serving plate and arrange the chicken salad on top. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.

Finally, here’s how to use that panettone; Logan Campbell’s panettone bread and butter pudding


45g currants
2 nips warm brandy
5 eggs
300ml cream
300ml milk
80g caster sugar, plus more to dust
zest of one orange
60g butter, softened
seeds from one vanilla bean (save the bean to use another day)
icing sugar, to dust
1kg panettone, cut into 2cm pieces
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Grease a large ovenproof dish. Put the currants and brandy in a small bowl and set aside to steep. In a large jug, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, caster sugar, orange zest, vanilla seeds and cinnamon.

Spread the panettone slices on both sides with butter. Sprinkle a few currants in the dish, and layer the panettone slices across the dish, sprinkling currants between the slices, until there is none left of either. Pour the egg custard over the top and set aside for 30 minutes to let the panettone absorb the custard.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and bake the pudding for 25-30 minutes until set. Cool a little, before serving, dusted with icing sugar.

The OzHarvest Cookbook is available from OzHarvest for $59.95.

For every book purchased, around 120 meals will be delivered to those in need.

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