In My Portugal, George Mendes, chef and owner of Michelin-starred Aldea, introduces us to the world of Portuguese cuisine, offering 125 mouthwatering recipes that showcase the wide range of dishes that come from this coastal country. The collection balances Mendes’s popular restaurant recipes, such as his signature Duck Rice and Garlic Seared Shrimp, with his takes on classic Portuguese dishes, such as Salt, Cod, Potato, and Egg Casserole; Mozambique Shrimp and Okra with Piri Piri; Eggs Baked with Peas, Linguiça, and Bacon; Butter Cookies; and more. His stories illustrate the wealth of culinary resources in Portugal—fresh seafood, savory meats, and crisp vegetables. With delicious recipes and stunning photographs of the country, My Portugal takes the reader on an unforgettable journey.
In addition to collecting recipes for greatest hits from Mendes's highly regarded restaurant, Aldea, this cookbook gives readers greater insight into Mendes's personal journey as a chef, as well as a deeper appreciation for Portuguese culture and cooking. Mendes begins humbly with a handful of recipes for salt cod, a staple of the cuisine, and gradually increases the complexity of the dishes before moving on to the next chapter. This approach, coupled with essays on the people, places, and experiences that have influenced him, pulls the reader in and encourages experimentation. Even though readers may not have the talent, budget, or palate for Aldea's famous saffron rice with seared shrimp and foie gras, they can certainly prepare the simple garlic seared shrimp if they want to get a taste of Portugal. There are recipes for formidable dishes such as terrine of baby goat and sea urchin toasts with shiso and lime, but there are just as many for hearty, rustic fare: an omelet with linguica and chorizo, a white button mushroom stew redolent with smoky paprika and red chile flakes. Packed with crisp, toothsome images of the dishes and postcard-worthy shots of Portugal, Mendes's collection is an inspired, loving tribute to the country.