Leftovers Transformed, on a "Shoestring"

After a full day of eating and drinking on Christmas, the last thing you want to do is prepare another meal.

Though ham is great, after that 20th ham sandwich, it can get a little old.

So, on "The Early Show Saturday Edition," Chris Santos, executive chef and owner of New York's Stanton Social, took on the "Chef on a Shoestring" challenge. His mission was to prepare some great dishes with leftovers you'll actually want to eat -- on a $30 budget.

"Early Show" Recipes Galore

All of Santos' dishes had leftovers from Christmas dinner. Since he was using leftovers, Santos didn't have to pay for the following:

• Sweet potatoes
• Dinner rolls
• Ham
• Turkey
• Mashed potatoes
• Apple pie


Spicy and Sweet Potato Pizzas

Use leftover sweet potatoes and blend with maple syrup, molasses, chipotle and butter to make a sweet and spicy topping for French Bread Pizzas with fresh whipped ricotta.

2 cups leftover roasted yams
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon molasses
1 tablespoon chipotle adobo
2 tablespoons softened butter
Chopped parsley
Chopped thyme
1 cup balsamic vinegar
4 strips cooked bacon
Olive oil, for brushing
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 loaf French bread

Place everything in a blender and puree until smooth. Add more cream if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and fold in 1 teaspoon chopped parsley and 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme.

Place balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan and reduce by 2/3. Cool.

For the Pizzas, split French bread in half and brush generously with olive oil. Spread bread with potato puree and then top with evenly spaced teaspoon dollops of fresh ricotta cheese. Add crumbled cooked bacon and place in 375°F oven until golden and crusty. Remove from oven and top with grated Parmigiano or asiago cheese (optional), drizzle lightly with a few drops of reduced balsamic vinegar and finish with fresh cracked pepper and fine chopped parsley and thyme. (The Food Lover's Companion)

Golden Potato & Ham Croquettes

1 cup leftover ham
4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

Finely dice the ham and sauté in olive oil with a touch of garlic until crispy. Drain.

Combine the mashed potatoes with cooked ham, mozzarella, parmesan, onion powder, and parsley. Form into croquettes about two inches long and one inch wide.

Dust with flour and dip in the beaten egg and roll in bread crumbs. Pan or deep fry croquettes until they are golden and crispy.

Serve on own or with your favorite marinara or tomato sauce. They also go great with the roasted garlic mayonnaise.

For more recipes, go to Page 2.