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Oh-So Festive Floribbean Fare for Super Sunday
Winter sweet onions add zesty crunch to this game-day menu

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Florida Flounder Sandwich With Lime and Sweet Onion Tartar Sauce
Chicken and Corn Empanadas
Florida Orange and Oso Sweet Onion Salad
Cuban Picadillo

(Family Features) - By Aliza Green - In honor of this year's big game, kick up your Super Bowl festivities with colorful Floribbean fare, a cooking style combining the best of Florida's traditions with Caribbean and Cuban flavors.

These recipes feature Oso Sweet onions, the winter sweet onion from Chile that's in season January through March. Oso Sweets are grown at the foot of Chile's Andes Mountains where growing conditions produce large, juicy onions with record-high sugar content, crisp texture and mild flavor.

Never had an orange salad before? Try this surprising, tart-sweet orange and onion salad. Find out why empanadas, the Spanish hand-held meal-in-a-pocket (here made with chicken and corn), are snapped up from Buenos Aires to Miami.

Tired of the same old ground beef dishes? This chunky Cuban beef picadillo fragrant with oregano and cumin is so good, you may want to make a double batch.

Can't get to the beach this winter? Our Florida fish sandwich with its tangy fresh lime and Oso Sweet onion tartar sauce will bring back memories of sand and surf. Best of all, Oso Sweet onions contain so little pyruvic acid - the substance that causes tearing, harsh-ness, and indigestion - that they are gentle enough for people of all ages. The whole family can kick back and enjoy this make-ahead fresh and spicy - but not fiery - menu.

Starting With Onions

Most savory recipes around the world start with onions. They provide a welcome edge of sweet-sharp flavor when raw and an underlying rounded, sweet-savory flavor when cooked. Sweet onions are the most versatile of all - mild enough to eat raw, in salads, sandwiches or salads yet versatile enough to cook by any method from caramelizing, sautéing, grilling and frying to baking, steaming, roasting or even barbecuing. For more information about Oso Sweets and other seasonal sweet onions, go to sweetonionsource.com.

For more about onions and 99 other essential ingredients, pick up a copy of this season's hot new cookbook "Starting With Ingredients," which includes more than 550 outstanding recipes by award-winning chef and author Aliza Green.

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Florida Flounder Sandwich With Lime and Sweet Onion Tartar Sauce

A pan-fried fish sandwich is a beach shack favorite in Florida, often made with native grouper. In other parts of the country, flounder fillet works just fine. The crunchy crust made from Japanese panko breadcrumbs holds in moisture so the fish is juicy inside. For those who love lime, increase the amount to the juice of two limes and don't forget the sweet onions, which add their own sweet, mild crunch to the sauce.

Tartar Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons each chopped parsley, green olives and pickle relish
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
  • Juice and grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup finely diced Oso Sweet onion
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2pounds lean, firm white fish fillet, such as flounder, fluke, halibut, grouper or cod, cut into (2- to 3-ounce) pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Japanese panko breadcrumbs or other breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 long French baguettes or Italian breads, split open with some of soft insides removed
  • 1 Oso Sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • Green leaf lettuce, separated into individual leaves, washed and dried

    1. For tartar sauce, stir all ingredients together and refrigerate.
    2. Season fish with salt and pepper. Lightly beat together eggs and milk.
    3. Set up three bowls: flour, egg mixture and half the panko. Dip each piece of fish into flour, shaking off excess.
    4. Next, dip into egg mixture, allowing excess liquid to drip off. Finally, dip in crumbs, coating well on all sides. (Add second half of panko to bowl as needed, so crumbs stay dry.)
    5. Arrange fish on a waxed paper-lined baking tray and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
    6. In large, heavy skillet, heat half the oil until shimmering. Lay fish pieces in oil without crowding, turning pieces as they brown. Fry until firm and well-browned, about 6 minutes; repeat with remaining fish.
    7. Drain and keep warm in 200° F oven. Spread baguettes with tartar sauce on both sides. Arrange fish in single layer on each bread, top with onion, tomato and lettuce; close, cut in portions and serve.

Serves 6

Chicken and Corn Empanadas

Empanadas, which come from the Spanish word for "bread," are baked or fried turnovers made from bread, pastry, phyllo or even pizza dough. Here we prepare these make-ahead Latino favorites with flaky, defrosted frozen crescent rolls, but feel free to substitute your own favorite savory dough.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced Oso Sweet onions
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 3 cups (1 pound) diced cooked chicken
  • 6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 14-ounce packages frozen crescent rolls, defrosted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

    1. In large skillet, heat oil and lightly brown onions. Add pepper, pepper flakes, corn and oregano and cook 5 minutes over moderate heat or until liquid has mostly cooked away. Remove from heat; stir in chicken and cheese, season to taste and chill.
    2. Unroll crescent dough into two perforated squares; Place one square over second. Roll out with a little flour to form a single, large rectangular sheet. Cut out four circles about 5 inches in diameter; repeat with remaining package of rolls. Refrigerate circles on waxed paper until firm, about 30 minutes.
    3. Spoon 1/4 cup filling into center of each circle, leaving 1-inch border. Brush edges with egg mixture. Fold over to seal, stretching dough slightly. Press edges together while pushing out any air pockets; seal by crimping with tines of a fork.
    4. Brush top with egg wash and prick with fork. Arrange empanadas on buttered and floured baking pan. Refrigerate until ready to bake, up to two days ahead of time. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until puffy and brown and filling is bubbling hot.

Makes 8 large empanadas
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Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Tip: Use rotisserie-roasted chicken.

Florida Orange and Oso Sweet Onion Salad

Serve this cheery, bright-colored salad on dull, dreary mid-winter days. You won't believe how sweet, mild and deliciously crunchy the raw sweet onions marinated in lemon and olive oil can be.

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 thinly sliced Oso Sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 6 large navel oranges
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill

    1. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with lemon juice, salt and pepper; pour marinade over onion and marinate 20 minutes. Whisk together remaining oil, vinegar, orange zest, salt and pepper for dressing. Remove rind and white membrane from oranges and cut into thin slices. Arrange orange slices on serving platter, drizzle with dressing, top with onions, sprinkle with dill and serve.
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Serves: 6

Cuban Picadillo

Picadillo is a tasty mixture of ground or finely chopped meat, often beef, simmered with aromatics like sweet onion and garlic and seasoned with the bold flavors of cumin and sherry vinegar from Spain that are a big hit throughout Latin America. Picadillo comes from the Spanish "picar," which means "to cut into small pieces."

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup diced Oso Sweet onions
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

    1. In large skillet, brown beef in 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat; drain and reserve.
    2. In same skillet, lightly brown onion, pepper and garlic in remaining oil. Add sauce, cumin and oregano; bring to boil.
    3. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened. Stir in beef, raisins, olives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring back to boil, simmer 10 minutes and serve over steamed rice with sautéed sliced ripe plantains and black beans.
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Serves 6 to 8

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Tip: Make a double batch and freeze half for up to three months. Defrost in microwave.

Tip: Use Texmati rice, a hybrid of American long-grain rice with Indian basmati, for perfect, fluffy results.
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SOURCE: OSO Sweet Onions

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