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the leftovers party by Stephanie Cloutier  | 1 2 3 
continued from page 1

give your visa card a break
The main idea of this party is to avoid spending a lot of money, or hopefully, any at all. You may find you need a few items from the grocery store, a key ingredient or two to help you reinvent your remainders, perhaps. But remember, you're only creating one or two leftover dishes, and your guests are bringing their own. Think of it as a festive potluck dinner surprise, except you know what the main ingredients are. You also should designate the responsibility of assigning various courses among your guests, such as appetizers or sides. Most of us will have the same main ingredients -- the last thing you want is a mashed potatoes dish done ten different ways.

encourage creativity
For making a leftover dish for the party, use ingredients you have on hand and get inventive! Perhaps there's a plate of mashed potatoes sitting in your fridge right now but you aren't sure how to use them. Sure, you could simply rewhip them with cream or butter with a portable electric hand beater to get that soft consistency of creamy mashed potatoes. But it's a lot more fun to try something different, like Potato-Crab Cakes.

There are endless recipe possibilities beyond the traditional festive fare. If you happen to have a lot of turkey left, try incorporating it in ethnic dishes such as Turkey Pad Thai or Turkey Quesadillas. If you believe in the theory that any food dipped in chocolate tastes better, try using that fruitcake you aren't too keen on eating but are dying to clear from the fridge. For Fruitcake Squares with Chocolate Sauce, simply cut fruitcake into slices and then into bit size squares. Place a toothpick into each of them. Drizzle with store bought chocolate sauce and serve.

potato crab cakes
Using your hands, mix together all of the following in a large bowl: cold mashed potatoes, canned or packaged crab meat, ounce melted butter, pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 egg, zest of lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
2 Form fat palm-sized patties and place them on a baking sheet with Clingfilm or Saran wrap. Place in fridge for about 20 minutes.
3 Beat 2 eggs in a small bowl, and sprinkle breadcrumbs (or even matzo meal if you have it lying around), on a flat plate.
Dip 1 fishcake in the beaten egg mix then into the breadcrumbs, covering them as much as possible. Put them aside on another plate.
5 Heat butter in large frying pan to medium heat and fry fishcakes on both sides until the crusts are golden, and the centers are warmed through.


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