Hi friends!

It has been a rough few days for me!  I’ve been sick, and just not up for anything.  I’m on the mend, but hoping to get better quickly.  However, even with being under the weather, I couldn’t resist making another recipe.  This was a two-day undertaking for me.  Partly because of not feeling well, but also because this was a more labor-intensive recipe to make than the others, and I really wanted to get it right!  For the beef filling, I used the recipe for the beef stew (molho de carne) that you can find in the blog, but also included it in here for convenience.

This recipe of “rissois,” is from my Grandmother, Teodora.  This is a staple in Portuguese cuisine.  They’re served at every party, and holiday, social occasion.  I don’t recall my Grandma making them on any regular day; more for an occasion.  It’s basically a fried dough with different savory fillings.  The two types of fillings that are most common, and that I remember my Grandma making, are shrimp and roast beef.  I remember being at her home when I was little, and I would help put the filling on the dough, fold them over carefully, and cut them to be fried.  I thought I was the best helper!  The best part was eating them, of course!

I called my mom for this recipe as she’s made them so many times, and it was easier having her explain to me the steps (thanks, mom!).  I’m really, really happy with how they turned out.  This is one of the recipes that has to be included in the cookbook, but that I was nervous to make.  I hope I did my Grandma proud!

Yields: 35 – 40

Shrimp filling:

1 pound shrimp, fresh or pre-cooked
1/2 large yellow onion, pulsed fine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water, used for shrimp
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Hot sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
Salt, to taste
Splash of lemon juice, optional



1) If using fresh shrimp, remove shells, devein, and place in a small pot with water, and bring to a boil. Cook for approximately five minutes, until shrimp turns pink. Reserve 1/4 cup water used to cook shrimp and set aside. When shrimp is cooled, pulse in a food processor until reduced to small pieces, but not minced or mush.

2) For the roux, saute onion in butter over medium heat in a large pan.  Add flour and mix together.  Gradually add milk and water reserved from the shrimp and stir. Add bouillon cube and continue stirring until roux begins to thicken. The consistency should be creamy, but not runny.  Add flour or water as needed.

3) Add paprika, hot sauce, parsley, and pulsed shrimp to pan and mix together. Add salt to taste and set aside.


Roast beef filling:

1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound beef, cut into chunks
2 bay leaves
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
3 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
3 1/2 tablespoons beef broth
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon parsley



1) Preheat oven to 400°.  In a small bowl, mix together all the spices and set aside.

2) In a large pot or Dutch Oven, lightly brown onion in olive oil until browned, five minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional two minutes. Add beef to the pot, and cook until meat is browned on all sides.

3) Add spice mixture and bay leaves to the meat, and stir until all spices are well incorporated.  Add tomato sauce, wine, and water, and stir.  Cover pot and cook at 400° for 30 minutes.  Lower temperature to 350°, and cook for an additional 20 minutes.  You can set aside and leave overnight or if you choose to make this all in the same day, set aside and allow it to cool slightly.

4) Once meat is cooled, pulse in a food processor until it’s slightly minced.  Move to a saucepan, and season with pepper.  Add milk and beef broth and stir.  Cook over low heat for a few minutes.  Stir in egg yolk and cook for an additional two to three minutes. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley, and set aside.


Dough Ingredients:

2 cups water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups canola oil
3 eggs
2 cups bread crumbs


1) In a medium pot, add water, butter, salt, and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat to very low, and add flour.  Vigorously mix flour until a dough forms and then remove from heat. Dough should be dry and not sticky.  This will take about a minute or two.

2) Place dough onto a flat surface and allow to cool. Once cooled, lightly dust surface with flour and roll dough out thin.

3) Place a teaspoon of either filling about 1/2 an inch from the edge of the dough.  Fold dough over filling and cut it into a half-moon shape, using the mouth of a cup.  Do this until you’ve used up all the dough.

4) In a large frying pan, heat oil over high heat.  While heating, beat 3 eggs in a small bowl and pour bread crumbs into a large bowl.  Keep both close to the frying pan.  Dip rissois in the egg, transfer to breadcrumbs to coat, and drop into the frying pan.  Turn them over until golden brown on both sides, and then place on a platter over absorbent paper.  Garnish with parsley.