As the child of Portuguese immigrants, 2011 Food & Wine Best New Chef George Mendes grew up eating all sorts of rice dishes at home. "There was simple tomato rice served with fried fish and then rabbit rice on special occasions and holidays," he says. This cozy chicken and rice recipe draws on those memories. In it, shredded rotisserie chicken, olives, sautéed onions and bell pepper, and crispy rendered soppressata are topped with cooked saffron rice and baked until the rice gets crispy on top to make a comforting dinner.
New York chef George Mendes of Aldea and Lupulo marinates chicken cutlets in olive oil, smoky paprika and white wine, then quickly pan-fries them so they’re perfectly tender and juicy. Slideshow: More Chicken Breast Recipes
At Bica, his daytime cafe and takeout window in New York City, chef George Mendes serves this Portuguese take on the classic egg and cheese sandwich. In place of breakfast sausage, he uses a smoky pork variety called Linguiça. If you can't find it, look for a smoky sausage like fresh chorizo. Slideshow: More Great Breakfast Recipes
Instead of using salt cod, a classic Portuguese ingredient that takes days to soak, New York City chef George Mendes of Aldea quick-cures fresh cod by standing it in kosher salt for only 10 minutes. He says cod is naturally soft and flaky ("as well as bland," he adds), so salting gives it a firmer texture and a more pronounced flavor. Best New Chef 2011: George Mendes