Portuguese Kitchen: Rissois

by Andrea on August 23, 2011

My mom and I made a massive batch of rissois for Mo’s birthday this past weekend.  Rissois are little goody filled pastries that are breaded and fried.  Heaven.  Think of them as pastries, turnovers, empanadas – whatever speaks to you.  For the party we decided to make both a savory beef version and a creamy shrimp version.  Delicious!

I’m not going to lie.  These little suckers are time consuming, but you can make a big batch with a friend, freeze and fry up a few as you wish.  Once you get into your groove and are chatting away, this starts to go pretty quickly.

Here’s the recipe for 60 rissois:

- 4 cups of water
– 1.5 tablespoon of butter
– 1 boullion cube
– 3 tablespoons of olive oil
– 4 cups of flour
Add butter, bouillion cube, and olive oil to the water.  Bring to a boil.  Add flour and stir until all ingredients are combined.  Take off stove and put dough on a floured surface to cool.

Beef Filling (for approximately 30 rissois)
- 2 lbs of ground beef
– 3 cloves of garlic
– 3 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1/2 cup of water
– 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
Combine everything in a pot on medium heat.  Cook until beef is done.  Remove from heat and using an immersion blender blend until the beef is finely cut.  (Not a puree.)

Shrimp Filling (for approximately 30 rissois)
- 2 lbs of small shrimp
– 4 tablespoons of olive oil
– 3 tablespoons of flour
– 1/4  cup of water
– 1 tablespoon of piri piri (hot sauce)
Warm olive oil  on medium heat.  Then add flour, constantly stirring.  Once combined, add water and piri, still stirring.  Once combined, add shrimp until it’s cooked.  The mixture should be creamy – not too runny.  Add more water or flour to make it thicker or thinner.

First make the dough.  Once it’s properly combined, spread it over a floured surface to cool. The dough at this point will be pretty chunky and coarse:

My mom then likes to knead them into smaller balls of dough:

Take each individual ball and knead until the dough is smooth.  Then with a rolling pin, roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness:

Next, add a tablespoon of filling.  In our case we used the beef and shrimp fillings above.  As you can imagine, you could do anything you wanted.  In Portugal, cod filling is also a popular choice:

Fold the dough over the filling, and then use a cup to cut a half moon pastry:

They will look like this all lined up:

The next step is to dunk the rissois in an egg wash followed by tossing them in breadcrumbs.  No photo of this step because our hands were eggy, but you get the picture.  Here is what they look like all layered in tupperware headed for the freezer:

When you are ready to fry them, defrost them and fry them in vegetable oil at medium heat.  They will turn goldeny delicious, and that’s when you know they are done!



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