Croquetes de camarão (Shrimp croquettes)

This recipe is probably a version of the "pastel de camarão" (little shrimp pie), a legacy of Portuguese cuisine. It makes a great appetizer, snack or quick meal. There are many versions of "shrimp croquettes" all along the coast and over almost the entire Brazilian territory.  
This recipe was inspired, long time ago, by the "shrimp croquette" of a little restaurant in "Perequê" beach, "Guarujá", São Paulo.

Ingredients

  • For the filling:
  • • 600-800 g of raw shrimp with the shell on (about 400 g of cleaned shrimp)
  • • 2 tablespoons butter
  • • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • • 150 g ripe tomato, peeled and diced
  • • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, approximately 25 g
  • • 100 ml milk
  • • salt, ground pepper or chilli
  • • 12 - 14 pitted green olives
  • • 12 - 14 cubes of Emmental cheese
  • For the shrimp stock:
  • • 1 tablespoon butter
  • • ½ onion, chopped
  • • 1 garlic clove
  • • the shrimp shells and fish scraps, if there are
  • • 2 sprigs of parsley
  • • a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper
  • • 500 ml water
  • For the dough:
  • • 500 ml of liquid (shrimp stock + milk)
  • • 2 tablespoons butter
  • • salt, ground pepper or chilli
  • • a teaspoon of colorau or a bit of tomato paste
  • • 100 g mashed potatoes
  • • 250 g all-purpose flour
  • For the coating:
  • • beaten eggs with a pinch of salt
  • • pane grattugiato

Preparation method

1. Wash the shrimps, peel them and remove the guts. Save the raw shells for the stock and cut the shrimp into pieces. 
2. Make the stock. Melt the butter and sauté onion and garlic. Add the shrimp shells, toast and crush them with a wooden spoon to remove all the juices. If desired add ½ cup white wine and, once the alcohol has evaporated, add the parsley, salt, pepper and the water. Allow to cook for at least 30 minutes. Pass the stock through a fine strainer. 
3. Make the filling. Melt the butter and sauté onion and garlic. Then add diced tomatoes and let simmer. Add parsley and chopped shrimps, turn the heat to high and cook for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the flour, mix well, add the milk and cook for a few minutes until it becomes creamy. 
4. Pour the stock into a measuring cup and add milk until the level of liquid reaches 500 ml. In a large pan combine the liquids (stock + milk), butter, salt, pepper and "colorau" or tomato paste (they are used to add colour to the dough) and bring to the boil. Add the mashed potato and the flour all at once. Stir vigorously until the mixture comes together to a smooth consistency and forms a "ball". Put the dough on a plate and let it cool down. 
5. Prepare the croquettes. Divide dough into 10-12 equal parts. Take one part of the dough and use your hands to press it into a thin disk. Add a tablespoon of filling to the middle of the "disk", an olive and a cheese cube. Fold over the sides to cover the filling. Then roll it to create croquettes. 
6. Dip them into beaten egg (slightly salty), then roll in breadcrumbs. 
7. When the oil has reached the correct temperature (it starts to form small bubbles around a wooden toothpick when you stick it in the oil) deep fry until they are golden brown.  
8. Transfer them to a plate covered with paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Serve hot. 

Yield: 12-14 croquettes.
Posted on: 18 May 2014
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