Chic to eat cuisine dOpportunite

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Chicken Enchiladas are a popular family food that can be made a la cuisine d’Opportunite — using leftover chicken and supplies on hand.

Are you serving your family cuisine d'Opportunité? It's the hottest food trend sweeping the nation.

Cuisine d'Opportunité combines the best attributes of many of our favorite foods: It is extremely flexible; can be spicy or mild; sophisticated or just down home comfort food. The dishes are simple to prepare, family friendly and best of all, easy on the wallet.

So what is this cuisine d'Opportunité? It is eating what you have on hand. It is looking for bargain meats and produce and stretching them into soul satisfying meals. Its about using up leftovers before crowding your fridge with more leftovers.

My grandmothers and mother were geniouses at this technique; I am sure many of you could say the same. Trips to the store were carefully planned and grocery stores were closed on Sunday.

Somewhere along the line, our generation fell out of the practice of turning the leftover roast beef into Red Flannel Hash and French Dip Sandwiches. Its time to take the kitchen wisdom back, friends. No more daily trips to the grocery store, no more shoving food to the back of the fridge just to become a science experiment.

Kitchen wisdom calls for us to be frugal consumers. Buy what you need and use it. Take stock of what is on your pantry shelves before buying more. I bet I have at least two weeks worth of cuisine d'Opportunité meals in my pantry alone - and my freezer is chockfull, too.

Here are a few simple meals you can create using what you have on hand:

n Omelettes or frittatas - What an elegant dinner and so simple to make.

n Pankcakes, crepes or waffles - with sweet and savory toppings

n Soups, homemade and store bought

n Salads with crusty bread, cheeses, meats, fruit

n Paninis or other sandwiches

n Pasta or rice with leftover vegetables and/or meat

n Barley, lentils, couscous, other grains with leftover vegetables/meat

n Beans - they are a great source of protein and fiber and are very inexpensive.

Other cuisine d'Opportunité techniques:

n Cook in big batches. Roast multiple chickens (or pork loins, roast beef, or fish, etc.) instead of just one. It takes the same amount of energy and you will have left over meat for future meals.

n Prepare a big batch of spaghetti sauce and freeze part for later. Do the same with lasagna, muffins and cookies.

n Keep an inventory of your freezer contents so foods don't get lost.

This fall the classes I have been teaching with Lake Oswego Parks and Rec have focused on roasting a large Sunday night dinner and transforming the leftovers into different meals throughout the week. In the Roast Chicken class the students learned how to roast the chicken and then use the meat to make Curried Chicken Crepes, Green Grape and Chicken Salad Pita Sandwiches and Chicken Enchiladas. We made stock from the bones and made Cozy Chicken Noodle Soup to end the lesson.

So here is your first lesson in cuisine d'Opportunité: Roast a chicken or two (email me if you need directions) and then use some of the meat to make these Chicken Enchiladas.

Bon Appetit! Enjoy cuisine d'Opportunité!

Chicken Enchiladas

Makes 6 servings

12 corn tortillas

2 cups canned enchilada sauce

1 cup tomato sauce

3 cups diced cooked chicken

¼ cup black olives, sliced (optional)

¾ cup grated cheddar or jack cheese

2 cups plain yogurt or low fat sour cream

¼ cup chopped green onions

Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Soften tortillas by wrapping them in waxed paper and microwaving for 30 seconds or by heating on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet for few seconds on each side. Mix enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Mix chicken and olives together and then add ½ cup of the sauce mix to moisten.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each warm tortilla. Roll and place seam side down in the baking dish. When all are in place, cover with the remaining sauce and grated cheese. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven and spoon yougurt or sour cream down the center of the dish and sprinkle with green onions and more sliced olives.

You can take this a step further and add your salad right on top. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce.


Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-635-8811 or by email at brandall@lakeo .

Randall to address coalition

The Lake Oswego Women's Coalition regular monthly luncheon will meet on Nov. 19, at 11:45 a.m. at Oswego Lake Country Club.

Guest speaker will be Lake Oswego Review food columnist and cooking instructor Barb Randall. Randall will speak on 'The 100-Mile Thanksgiving: Celebrating with Sustainable Foods.'

A native Oregonian and dedicated locavore, Randall will discuss the benefits of eating locally produced foods. She will share recipes, vendor lists and do-ahead tips to create your own sustainable Thanksgiving Feast with ease.

Cost for the luncheon meeting is $15 for members and non-members; annual dues are $10 to cover speaker lunches and programs.

Call the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce at 503-636-3634 to make reservations.