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

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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.

Pho­tog­ra­phy by Manja Wachsmuth

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