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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Together by Cherie Metcalfe

Cherie Metcalfe, trained chef, and creator of the popular Pepper & me range of salts, rubs, sauces, and cooking pastes has created a new cookbook. She filled it with 70 recipes inspired by cuisines from all over the world to which she has given a creative twist, and all are designed for sharing with family and friends:

“Enjoy the breakfasts on lazy weekends away, plan feasts with your friends and bake with your family. Let the food in this book bring you together with the people you love.” she writes.

I love her enthusiastic and laidback approach to entertaining and her wicked sense of fun!

For breakfast she included the recipe for her outrageously decorative Bloody Mary with Schnacks ( this idea came from a cocktail competition night during lockdown where her very well loaded Bloody Mary won her first place). It is a traditional Mary with an umbrella of little savoury snacks that hover above the drink and can be eaten one at a time, like mini sausage rolls, salami, oysters, crispy onion rings and olives.

Cherie assures us that, "It’s pretty much the same as a vegan smoothie bowl and aesthetically pleasing too."

I haven’t been game to recreate it yet! Instead, I chose to make a recipe with a Mexican vibe: Savoury Pancake Tacos with Fried Egg, Avo and Salsa, for a family brunch. You can ring the changes and fill them with any topping you like so we tried them with smoked salmon instead of the fried egg and they were delicious!

The season of summer barbecues and picnics has arrived, so I was especially drawn to the generously sized and healthy salad platters. We enjoyed the Cos Chicken and Avocado with Whipped Feta for a casual family meal on the deck. The creamy, salty, and tangy whipped feta can also be used as a dip, dressing, or spread, so it is very versatile.

Next I am looking forward to making the vibrant Kale, Beetroot and Apple Salad with Pomegranate Dressing and the Freekah with Greens and Dukkah.

I was given a jar of the Pepper & me Sesh Oil earlier this year and we regularly enjoy this chilli oil drizzled over scrambled eggs with avocado. in her Sizzling Sesh Noodles it packs a punch! And at the end of a busy day, with the addition of a handful of Asian greens and a fried egg on top, it fitted the bill perfectly for a speedy, fragrant, and spicy dinner.

The beautiful photographs in Together make her food look delectable, especially the desserts. TheChocolate Cremeux Tart is Cherie’s new all-time favourite. Its silky smooth chocolate filling is decadent but lighter than ganache. Being a chocoholic, I can’t wait to try it ! Although I suspect my granddaughters would prefer the churros-style Drop Doughnuts, so maybe both?!

Just one cautionary note: her recipes were specially created to showcase one or more of her products. It is great that she does provide alternatives but if you need to do this, they won’t taste exactly the same, so you need to mix and taste carefully as you proceed.

Reviewer: Lyn Potter

Allen & Unwin


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