Serious Eats: Recipes

French in a Flash: Sorrel Shrimp Rissoles with Artichoke Aïoli

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

I think the frequent recurrence of rissoles in this column of late reveals more about me than about French cuisine. When the weather turns too cold for me to go outside and fry myself, I come inside, and fry other things. Two weeks ago, it was summer fruit wrapped in puff pastry—a very conventional rissole. This week's shrimp and sorrel leaves wrapped in filo dough are about as unorthodox as the day is long—although, admittedly, with winter crouching towards us, the shorter days may not be the best yardstick.

I began a somewhat torrid love affair this summer with sorrel. As they say, the most important ingredient in any fiery relationship is mystery—and sorrel held that for me. It started at culinary school, where the chef conjured up salmon and a creamy sorrel sauce to match. My first question was, "Why do we always use lemon?" Sorrel speaks with the same acidic accent, but in a language far more grassy, earthy, and velvety.

Rissoles, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, are like beignets or doughnuts, only they're usually made from puff pastry instead of choux pastry, and then fried deeply golden. I don't use puff pastry here, but I wanted to borrow the idea of layers by wrapping the jumbo shrimp up in crisp blankets for the fall season. First comes a leaf of sorrel—that acidic, verdant wrapping paper that sneaks surreptitiously into the mix—and then I mummify the tail-on shrimp in layers of filo dough brushed in olive oil. Fry away until each succulent, snappy rissole looks like it arrived in the parcel post, and then serve it with a chunky, pungent artichoke aïoli.

What I love about this dish is that it is pretty much a pantry meal. It uses a whole list of ingredients that I absolutely always have: frozen shrimp, frozen artichoke hearts, filo dough, olive oil, mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the The Secret Ingredient series for Serious Eats.

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