Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rissoles (Brazilian Savory Snack)

We're in the midst of another exciting World Cup and I can’t believe I have yet to mention it here at Halal Mama’s World Kitchen. While I don’t really follow sports (NBA, NCAA, MLB and the likes mean nothing to me) I do make an exception for the World Cup. I guess when it comes to soccer I'm as Brazilian as can be. I wear the shirt, the hair band, the glasses, carry the flag, and shift my schedule every which way so that I can watch every single Brazilian game. This year I even toted a little radio with me to my kids' swimming lessons so that I wouldn't have to miss Brazil playing while half-heartedly cheering on my little swimmers.

When Brazil is playing in the World Cup people back home literally stop everything for the game. Kids are dismissed early from school, people leave work early, and the streets are relatively empty. During the game, friends and family gather and of course food is always present. This year I've heard many complaints from friends that the vuvuzelas are also making a strong presence on tv direct from the stadium in South Africa but also on Brazilian streets.

Brazilians have a strong tradition of savory snacks which are usually eaten on the street but readily available at parties and at home. Popular savory snacks include coxinha (deep fried breaded dough filled with shredded chicken), empadinha (bite-size pot pie filled with a variety of fillings), pão de queijo (bite-size cheese puffs made with tapioca starch) and today’s recipe, rissoles.

This Friday, July 2, watch Brazil vs. Netherlands playing for the Quarter Finals Round of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa. And to make the experience even better make sure to dress in yellow and green while eating some rissoles. Go Team!

Meat Rissoles

Rissoles are breaded pastry shaped as half-moons filled with pretty much anything you like such as shrimp, hearts of palm, or as in this case, ground beef. Making the pre-cooked dough takes some muscle so I put in the recipe the minimum amount possible of flour to make sure you can still stir it. But make sure to sprinkle a lot of flour on the surface and top of the dough when rolling out otherwise it will stick. For breading the dough you will need very fine bread crumbs. If yours isn’t fine you can put in a Ziploc and roll a rolling pin over it to make it fine. To make this recipe egg free, substitute the egg for milk (dip in milk, bread crumbs and fry).

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 Tbsp parsley, minced
3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded and cut in small pieces
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 Tbsp butter
Salt to taste

For breading and frying:
3 to 4 eggs
1 ½ cups fine breadcrumbs

Make filling:

Put all filling ingredients in a saucepan over high heat and sauté stirring for about 10 minutes. Cover the pan, turn down the heat and let it cook for another 10 minutes being careful not to let meat dry out completely. Put in a plate to cool and set aside.

Make dough:

Put flour, milk, butter and salt in a pan and mix well before heating it. Turn on the stove to medium heat and stir constantly until the dough forms a ball that pulls away from the sides of the pan (make sure there are no wet spots in the dough). Let it cool before molding the rissoles.

Molding and frying:

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is 1/8-inch thick. With a 3-inch round cutter (biscuit cutter) cut the dough into disks. Place ½ Tbsp of meat filling in the center of each disk and fold each over to form a half moon. Using your fingers, pinch the ends of the dough together making sure the filling is well sealed into the dough.

Beat 3 eggs in a mixing bowl. In another bowl put the finely ground breadcrumbs, crushing if necessary. Dip risolles into the egg, be sure to coat thoroughly. Then, place egg battered rissoles into the crushed bread crumbs again making sure to coat thoroughly. Fry in hot oil until golden brown and let drain on paper towels.

Note: This recipe makes about 50 rissoles so you might want to flash freeze part of it to fry at a later date. After coating rissoles with bread crumbs, lay them out on a cookie sheet separate from each other cover with plastic wrapper and freeze. Once they are frozen transfer to a more freezer-space-friendly container such as a Ziploc. Make sure to thaw before deep-frying.


  1. This is a very very special and delicious recipe. For the amount of work, I would definitely think about doubling the recipe and freezing whatever wont be fried immediately. What do you say??

  2. Sounds like a good recipe for Ramadan. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Marina great point, but the recipe makes about 50 so unless you are making for a party it is probably enough to freeze. Freeze prepared (not fried)rissoles separately. Thaw completely, before deep frying.


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