Peter Gordon everyday meals
Our humble columnist, originally from Whanganui, knows a thing or two about putting good, honest, family-style food on the table
I’m really happy to be able to share three recipes from my latest
book Eating Well
Everyday. This is a reprint of the book I first released in 2012, Everyday, and I’ve had more queries about it than any of my others. “Where can I buy a copy, mine has been trashed from over-use?” It’s also a favourite of my UK publisher, Jacqui Small, so we decided it deserved a reprint, albeit in a slightly smaller format from the original — which had a tendency of slipping off the windowsill on to the kitchen bench mid-preparation, I’ve been told. The book was originally designed and shot in Auckland. In fact, we photographed it at my friend Grant Allen’s house in Point Chevalier — where Grant also cooked the dishes I wasn’t around for. Along with Lianne Whorwood, he also provided many of the props. Danish-born, Auckland-based, photographer Manja Wachsmuth brought my recipes to life in an appetising way. I really am very happy to have it available again.
The book is packed full of recipes for all periods of your dining week, from breakfasts and brunch through to soups, pasta dishes, light meals and meaty main dishes, sides, the tea trolley and desserts. Dishes are a lot less “restaurant” in nature and less show-off in style, which many people found surprising when the book first came out as I am mostly seen as a restaurant chef (although I hope my weekly Bite column shows that I’m really just a man from Whanganui). One of my favourite recipes in the book, because it’s simple, delicious and also a little cheeky, is the spaghetti and cheese bread tartlets — all you need to make these delicious pies-without-pastry are four ingredients — butter, bread, spaghetti and cheese. They also work really well with tinned sweetcorn instead of the spaghetti. But that’s not one of the dishes I’ve chosen for you here.
The three dishes I have chosen are great served as a weekend brunch, or mid-week supper, when the weather is cooler. Lamb shakshouka is a one-pot meal that straddles brunch, lunch and supper and is full of rich but not heavy flavours from the slow-simmered vegetables and lean lamb mince. In some ways it’s like a fancy lamb bolognese topped with eggs, but with a Middle Eastern twist from cumin, sesame seeds and yoghurt.
The linguine with pistachio pesto is a play on a regular pesto, but also contains a decent amount of mint which cuts through the richness of pistachios — instead of the usual pinenuts. This is a great supper dish and makes a good starter. If you want to serve it with a steamed chicken breast on top, or mix some prawns or extra vegetables through it to make it a main course, by all means do so.
Lastly, the cover shot of the book is our third recipe, red curried butternut, mushrooms and spinach. It’s a dish that’s both hearty and fresh due to the curry sauce being made almost like a gazpacho at first, a puree of tomatoes, red capsicums, chilli, garlic and ginger and being stewed rather than fried. Serve it with steamed rice as a main, but it’s also really good as the vegetable component of a Sunday roast, alongside lamb, beef or chicken.