Brazil, the largest country in South America, was colonized by the Portuguese hence the spelling empadinhas or empadas. This Bahian-style empada filling can also be made with scallops or for a variation, used in puff pastry.
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1 habanero chile, stem and seeds removed, minced or substitute 3 jalapeno chiles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup chopped palm hearts
1 small tomato, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg yolk
½ cup thick coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 pound small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt to taste
In a heavy skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion, bell pepper, and habanero until they are softened but not browned. Add the lime juice, palm hearts, tomato, cardamom, and cloves, and cook for a couple of minutes until the liquid has been reduced and the mixture thick. Salt to taste.
Beat the egg together with the coconut milk in a bowl.
Slowly stir the coconut milk into the palm hearts mixture, and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a medium white sauce. Stir in the cilantro and shrimp.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly before filling the empadas.