Rissóis de Camarão

(Shrimp Turnovers) Makes about 3 1/2 dozen

Ingredients
Pastry
  • 2 cups             milk
  • 4 tablespoons              unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon                  salt
  • 2 cups             all-purpose flour

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons              unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup                        finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup               milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon                         finely chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons                      hot-pepper sauce, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon                coarse salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon                freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon                nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons             cornstarch or flour
  • 2 tablespoons             water
  • 1/2 pound                    shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked, well drained, and coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

Frying

  • 3 large             eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup water for egg wash
  • Fine plain breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil or corn oil for frying

Instructions

PASTRY
  • In a 2-quart saucepan, place the milk, butter, and salt. Warm over medium-high heat until the milk is scalded, not boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Using a wooden spoon, vigorously stir the flour into the milk. Keep stirring over medium-low heat until it forms a dough. When the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball, remove the pan from the stove.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work space. Using a plastic dough scraper or wooden spoon, turn the warm dough to knead temporarily until smooth and the dough slightly springs back when pressed with your finger. (Don't overwork the dough.) Divide the dough in half, forming two balls, and cover with an inverted bowl. Set aside to cool to nearly room temperature.

FILLING
  • Melt the butter in a 1-quart saucepan. Add the onion and sauté over medium-high heat until lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the milk, and heat to scalding, not boiling. Stir in the cilantro or parsley, hot-pepper sauce, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Mix the cornstarch or flour with the water. Stir into the milk and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring continually until it thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes. (Don't over cook or the cornstarch will break down and the combination will loosen.) Blend in the chopped shrimp, heat during 1 minute, and remove from heat. Set aside to cool completely.

ASSEMBLE AND FRY THE PASTRIES
  • Take half the dough and roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a cutter that is 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter (smaller if making appetizers for a party), cut disks of dough.
  • Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of a circle. Fold the dough over to form a half circle, pressing the edges together. Set aside on a sheet pan or tray lined with plastic wrap. Repeat until all the filling is used.

COOK THE PASTRIES
  • Dip the pastries in beaten egg, then rapidly into the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess crumbs. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 or 3 inches of oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat to a temperature of 350°F (175°C) or until a bit of the pastry sizzles when slipped in. Fry the rissóis, two or three at a time, until golden brown. Remove to paper towel to drain. Serve hot or at room temperature.

NOTE: To freeze: Line a sheet pan with plastic wrap and set the pastries down in a single layer without overlapping. Cover well with plastic wrap, smoothing out as much air as possible. Freeze. They will keep for at least a month, but you most likely will use them before that time.


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