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Inspired by the Iberian Peninsula, Aldea balances rusticity and refinement

In May 2009, chef George Mendes opened Aldea in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood. Named after the Spanish word for village, Aldea’s menu is inspired by the Iberian Peninsula and chef/owner George Mendes’ heritage. Mendes adds a modern, seasonal approach to create a menu perfectly balanced between rusticity and refinement. His menu includes a variety of shellfish, various preparations of salt-cod, bacalao, rice dishes and Iberian-cured hams.

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Meet George Mendes

Chef Bio

A first-generation American born to Portuguese parents, George Mendes has fond memories of the elaborate, festive meals his family would prepare while he was growing up in Danbury, Connecticut. From a young age, he knew he wanted a creative career, and food was his first love. Soon after finishing high school, Mendes enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

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Chefs Recipe

Recipe Overview

  • Type of Dish / Entrée or Side
  • Total Time / 90 min
  • Yield / 4 -6 servings
  • Level / Intermediate
  • Prep / 4-6 Days with home-cured cod; plus 30 minutes for preparation of ingredients
  • Cook / Approx 1 hour

Salt Cod Casserole

This recipe is delicious with home-cured bacalhau. However, plan ahead; curing and rinsing the salt cod is a four-day process.

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Position an oven rack to the lower third of the oven.

In a 4-quart cast iron cocotte (Dutch oven) over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and salt, and stir to coat evenly with the oil. Cover the cocotte with the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a small bowl, discard the bay leaves, and wipe out the cocotte with a damp paper towel.

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Recommended Product
  • Staub Cast Iron
    Shallow Wide Round Cocotte

    The Staub cocotte is the classic vessel for all of your favorite meals. Staub’s proprietary self-basting system consists of spikes that are distributed throughout the interior of the lid to ensure a continuous rainfall effect over the food, ensuring an optimal cooking result. The self-basting lid is 9 times more effective than conventional lids.


  • Features & Benefits:

    -Made in France

    -Heavyweight enameled cast iron transfers and retains heat evenly

    -Extra-wide cooking surface with high sides to contain liquids for braising, roasting meat and   cooking stew

    -Multicoat enameling creates a glossy, vibrantly colored “majolique” finish

    -Stainless steel lid knob

    -Dishwasher safe.


Restaurant Location

31 W  17th Street
New York, NY 10011

P: 212.675.7223

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