The Hooligan's Table: The Rugby Player's Cookbook: How to Eat, Drink, Think and Entertain like a Rugby Player

The Hooligan's Table: The Rugby Player's Cookbook: How to Eat, Drink, Think and Entertain like a Rugby Player

by David Martin


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After playing rugby, one of the most physically challenging games you can play, both sides shake hands and walk off the field together-and then sit down to a pint and a meal.

The Hooligan's Table showcases the spirit of camaraderie for which rugby is known around the world and across the table. Author David Martin brings over thirty years of playing rugby and going to the pub after rugby games to the writing of this book. He has included recipes such as cheddar and stout soup, beer can chicken, the hangover cure sandwich, and cowboy cookies-all of which come from players, coaches, friends, and pubs where rugby is on the menu as well.

In addition to providing the recipes for the definitive rugby meal, this collection also offers energetic stories of games and meals; it invites you to sit down with other rugby players at The Hooligan's Table. In the spirit of rugby, everyone's invited; discover some great ways to create your own hooligan's table.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781462073290
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/13/2012
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.36(d)

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The Rugby Player's Cookbook: How to Eat, Drink, Think and Entertain like a Rugby Player
By David Martin

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 David Martin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4620-7329-0

Chapter One

Line Out – Appetizers and Starters

A line out starts the play after the ball goes into touch. Two teams of forwards form two lines and the ball is thrown down the middle. Players lift jumpers, who fight for the ball in mid-air. When you are hosting a dinner party, or just having friends over, have your starters lined out. Appetizers are a great way to start a party. Great starters can make a great meal better or save a bad meal. For casual events, a lineup of just starters can work too. A little sample of something is a good way to keep the crowds at bay as they wait for the main course.

Apalachicola Oysters with Seminoles Cocktail Sauce

From Scott "Bo" Hunter, Tallahassee, Fl

Oysters are the backbone of many a student diet in Tallahassee, Fla., the home of Florida State University and my alma mater. While the prices have gone up a bit, oysters are still a bargain in Tallahassee. Oysters are probably most popular shucked and eaten raw with a dash of lemon juice and cocktail sauce. This recipe grills them in their shells and tops them with Seminole Sauce. This is a special blend of salt, pepper and spices made by the Seminole Tribe and available online. If you can't find it, there are many popular brands of spices mixes like Old Bay Seasoning that would work too.

Ingredients - serves 6

3 cups, ketchup 2 tbsp, horseradish 1 tbsp, Worcestershire Sauce 2 tbsp, hot sauce 1 tbsp, Seminole Swamp Seasoning ½ tsp, cayenne powder 1 tbsp, lemon Juice ½ tsp, black pepper 6 dozen, Apalachicola oysters

Directions –

In a bowl mix all the ingredients together except the oysters. Then chill and set aside.

Thoroughly wash oysters and keep on ice until ready to cook. Heat grill to medium high heat. Place oysters onto grill and cook until shells pop open. Remove from the grill and put a spoonful of sauce on top of each oyster. Serve over a bed of ice or on a serving tray.


From John Adelaine, South Africa and Brooklyn, N.Y.

South Africa is a rugby mad country. The Springbok are all sports hero's and are one of the top teams in the world. My friend John splits his time between South Africa and Brooklyn, N.Y. and is a regular member of the New York Rugby Club's old boy's squad, The Gentlemen of New York. But John is a first and foremost a South African. This is his favorite food from home and he said no one makes them like his Dad. Boerewors are a South African sausage that is to pre-rugby tailgate parties what ribs and hamburgers are to Americans. As a young rugby player and fan, John followed his Dad to matches in Pretoria where Dad would set up a barbecue grill or braais and grill these up for all his friends before the games. Once in the serving pan John suggests squeezing a little lemon on the boerewors and then dipping them in ketchup, or tomato sauce as it's called in South Africa and then a sprinkle of curry powder.

South African tradition dictates that no one makes suggestions to the braai chef while he is cooking. John says they served them inside the stadium, but where never as good as Dad's home-made version.

Ingredients – makes about 20 sausages

½ lb, beef, ground ½ lb, pork, ground ½ lb, lamb, ground ¼ lb, bacon, chopped ½ cup, red wine, sweet ¼ cup, red wine vinegar ¼ cup, brandy 2 tbsp, salt 1 tsp, black pepper, freshly ground 1 tsp, coriander 1 tsp, thyme 1 tsp, sage 1 tsp, oregano 1 tbsp, garlic cloves, minced

Sausage Casing - Use pork sausage casing which is available from specialty butchers. Use according to directions on the packaging but make sure you rinse them and soak them before using them.

Directions –

Place all of the ground meat and bacon into a bowl. Combine the salt, pepper, coriander, thyme sage, oregano and garlic. Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat and then mix thoroughly. Add the wine, vinegar and brandy and combine. Fill the sausage casing with the mixture. Make the boerewors into desired size by tying off the casing at desired length.

Place in refrigerator for one hour until boerewors are firm. Place a sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil to pan. Place boerwors into pan and brown until golden on all sides. They should cook for about 10-15 minutes to be sure that they are cooked through. The 'wors may also be cooked on a grill for about the same amount of time.

Barley's Bruschetta

From Barley's Tap Room and Pizzeria, Greenville, S.C., home of the Greenville Griffins RFC.

Bruschetta is fairly easy to make and a great starter and it looks like you did a lot of cooking. You can also add other toppings, such as cheeses, meats or other vegetables.

Ingredients – makes about 20 pieces

5 whole Roma tomatoes, diced ½ red onion, diced 1 cup, roasted red peppers, diced ¾ tbs, garlic, minced 3/8 tbsp, kosher salt 3/8 tbsp, black pepper 1 loaf, French bread (or any baguette type loaf of bread works best) 2 tbsp, olive oil 3 basil leaves

Directions –

Mix together the diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside and keep it chilled.

Thinly slice the bread and spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle the bread with olive oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees

Now you must chiffonade the basil. This is a technique that allows you cut basil into small strips that curl up and placed on the bread. Basically you stack the basil leaves and roll them tightly (as if you are rolling a cigar), then cut thin strips. This allows you to place your fresh basil on top of the bread and it won't hang over the edges. When your bread is ready, remove it from the oven. Next, spoon small amounts of the mixture over the bread. Put equal amounts on each piece of bread and serve it quickly while the bread is still warm.

If you decide to try other toppings, you can melt the cheese when you toast your bread or heat up meats and top off your bruschetta.

Carolina Pepper Bombs

From Mike Matese, Columbia, S.C.

Whenever Columbia Olde Grey Rugby Club gathers, you know that Mike is going to be the head chef somewhere. One of the club's most requested dishes is one of the easiest. He says while all the guys love them, not all the women do, many, but not all. He suggests a full cooler of beers close by.

Ingredients – makes 40

20 Jalapeno peppers 1 lb, cream cheese, softened 1 lb, kielbasa sausage 1 lb, bacon Toothpicks

Directions -

Slice jalapeno peppers lengthwise, but do not slice all the way through, keeping the pepper in one whole piece. Carefully remove the seeds and veins. Fill the pepper with cream cheese and then place a small strip of sausage. Wrap the entire pepper with bacon and secure with a toothpick. Cook on a grill over low flame until the pepper and bacon are cooked.

Fat's Hot Crab Dip

From Fat Tuesday's, Fairfax, Va., home of Western Suburbs RFC.

In 2008, players from Western Suburbs, in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax, discovered Fat Tuesday's and the bar quickly embraced the rugby team. When you take your name from a great Louisiana party, you know it's a good joint. Their menu features lots of Cajun and Creole dishes and Zydeco wings, heavily marinated in garlic and pepper and Gator Bites, yep, alligator tail, breaded and fried. This dish will get any party started and is best served with fresh French bread. It should be made before hand and heated just before serving. This recipe allows you to make some and keep some on hand. A classy addition to any sideline blanket.

Ingredients – makes 4 portions

½ onion, diced 2 celery sticks diced very small ½ oz, butter 1 oz, crab base (this is a specialty item that you can find, it's essentially a crab stock) 6 oz, cream cheese 2 cups, sour cream 5 oz, frozen spinach chopped (about a half a 10oz box) ½ lb, crab meat (fresh is best, frozen works too) ½ tbsp, Old Bay Spice ¼ tbsp, white pepper ½ cup, Jack cheese, shredded

Directions –

In a skillet, sauté the onions and butter together until the onions are soft, for seven minutes. Then add the crab base and cook it for about three minutes. Remove from the heat and add all the other ingredients except the shredded cheese. Mix it thoroughly together and cool it down. Before you are ready to serve it, pop in into the microwave for about 30 seconds to heat the middle. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees and then after you get it out of the microwave, heat it in the oven for about four minutes, just enough to warm the entire dip. Sprinkle the cheese on top and serve with bread or crackers.

Kezar Corn Dogs

From the Kezar Pub, San Francisco, Ca.

The Bay Area of San Francisco is the rugby capital of the West Coast and home of collegiate champions Cal Berkley and Super League team, San Francisco Golden Gate RFC. Everyone knows the place to watch international matches is the Kezar Pub near Golden Gate Park. They have a good pub menu and some Mexican-style dishes like this one, sausages in a spicy jalapenos batter. They serve them with honey mustard sauce and a Creole mustard sauce for dipping.

Ingredients – makes 33 corn dogs.

1½ cups, corn meal ¾ tsp cayenne pepper 1½ cups, flour ½ cup chopped onion 1 tbs, salt 1 ½ chopped jalapenos ½ tbsp, baking powder 1 ½ cups, cream corn ¾ tsp, baking soda 1 ½ cups, buttermilk 35 andouille sausages (That's what Kezar uses, you can substitute hot dogs or chicken apple sausages, your choice.) Skewers – enough for the sausages.

Directions –

Mix the corn meal, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and the cayenne pepper together. In a separate bowl mix the onion, jalapenos, cream of corn and buttermilk. Mix all those ingredients together. Then mix the flour and that mix into the buttermilk mix and stir it together.

Get your oil going. You will need to heat up either an outdoor fryer or a heavy pot filled with cooking oil. Get it up to about 375 degrees. You can prepare each sausage for cooking by rubbing a little corn starch over them so the mix sticks better. Once you have the oil hot, take your sausage and dip it in the mixture and get it good and coated in the flour mix. Then drop it carefully in the hot oil. Let it cook about four minutes until the outside is golden brown. Remove with metal tongs and set on a rack and let them cool for a few minutes. Serve with dipping sauces.

Mad Dog's Sausage Rolls

David "Mad Dog" Morgan – Queensland, Australia.

Mad Dog is team leader of the International Bustard Eagles – an international team with players from USA, Argentina, UK, New Zealand and Australia. Every two years this old boy pulls on the boots for the international old boys tournaments called the Vintage Rugby carnivals. When he's not playing Mad Dog could be cooking his always popular sausage rolls. He recommends having a few ales while preparing this dish.

Ingredients – serves one team

1 onion, large, minced 3 garlic cloves, minced 3 celery sticks, minced 1 lb, ground veal 1 egg 3 cups, baby spinach, chopped ½ cup, basil leaves, chopped 1/3 cup, pine nuts ½ cup, Parmesan cheese, grated 4 sheets, puff pastry shells ½ cup, milk Salt and pepper to taste

Directions –

In a skillet with a little oil, cook the onions, garlic and celery in a saucepan until soft. Allow to cool. Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking pan and cover with parchment paper.

Combine the onion mix, meat, egg, greens, pine nuts, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly by hand, squeezing it through your fingers. Next cut each pastry sheet in half.

Squeeze about an inch size log of your meat mixture down the middle of each pastry rectangle. Brush one long edge with milk, and then roll up tightly using the milked edge to seal the roll. Cut each roll, seams down, into 4 pieces and prick the tops with a fork. Brush with milk and place on the baking trays. Leave a little gap between each one. Bake, seams down or they'll open up, for approx 20-30 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Mango and Lump Crabmeat Salsa

Meg Votta – founder Touring Women Over Thirty, (TWOTS)

Meg was one of the great characters of rugby. Sadly Meg passed away in 2009 but she leaves behind a legacy. She created the Touring Women over Thirty or TWOTS, now simply known as the Olde Girls. She started playing rugby after college and captained the Gotham City Women's Rugby that later became the women's team of the New York Rugby Club. Meg was also a chef and loved to cook for her rugby teammates and friends. Meg loved to create dishes and try things out and have fun with food, like this one.

6 plum tomatoes, diced small ½ cup, Vidalia onion, diced small 1 mangoes, diced small 1 cup, red and yellow bell peppers, diced small 2 tbsp, cilantro, chopped 2 tbsp, parsley, chopped 1 tsp, salt ½ tsp, black pepper 2 tbsp, honey 1 tsp, white Worcestershire 1 tsp, rice wine vinegar 1 tbsp, garlic powder ¼ tbsp, cayenne powder 2 tbsp, fresh lime juice ½ lb, lump crabmeat

Directions –

Place all ingredients into a bowl except crabmeat. Combine, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Add crabmeat and mix gently to keep the crabmeat in large pieces. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Potato Crisps

From the Brewhouse Pub, Atlanta, Ga., home of High Country Rugby Club

In the Brewhouse Pub, the players from High Country Rugby have found a real home. Their jerseys hang on the walls, trophies fill up shelves and the team's logo is painted on the building. This is what a rugby bar is all about. Just about any time the bar is open, there is likely to be at least one player there, unless it's game or practice time. One of their popular pub snacks are potato crisps. Real potato chips are actually pretty easy to make and delicious and much more impressive than opening up a bag.

Ingredients – serves a few and they will they do go fast

4 potatoes 4 pieces crisp bacon ¼ cup, green onions ¼ cup, bleu cheese, crumbled ¼ cup, bleu cheese dressing ¼ cup, diced tomatoes ¼ cup, hot sauce oil for cooking


Wash potatoes well and heat oil in a pot 4-5 inches deep to 350 degrees. Slice potatoes thinly into chips and gently put into oil. Cook until desired crispiness, about two to three minutes. Turn and move them around every now and then to prevent sticking and have an even cooking. Then drain off oil by placing them in a plate and paper towels. Put in a large bowl and lightly salt and pepper the chips. Crumble the bacon and spread on top. Repeat with all the other ingredients (chopping up the green onions), and finish by drizzling hot sauce on top.

Chapter Two

In the Scrum – Stews, soups and other hearty fare

The scrum is rugby's defining play. In organized mayhem, three front rows on each side lock arms and heads together and the remaining five forwards behind them assume positions an attempt to push the other team past the ball. The dishes here are a lot like being in the scrum, a good mixture of tastes and ingredients. When it gets cold out, all of these are great post-game warm-ups. There is nothing like a big hearty bowl of gumbo, unless you like beer in your soup then you will really like the Cheddar and Stout soup. These are all dishes that will fill you up and are mostly one dish meals. A dish like chili can even be made on the sidelines and ready for players as they come off the field.

Alastair's Sideline Curry

From Alastair Northway - England by Way of New Jersey, Les Vieux, Manhattan RFC (retired)

A center that became a candy salesman and then a prop, Alastair loves cooking and eating almost as much as playing rugby. When the weather in New York City turned cold you could always count on Alastair to show up for the games with a huge pot of curry. He prepared it at home the night before but put it on a low heat just before kickoff so it was ready by the end of the game. With the post game beers and Alastair's curry, the Manhattan old boys, Les Vieux were always welcome.

This recipe calls for a muslin bag for cooking spices. These can be found at cookware stores and are often used in Indian-style cooking. You can also use a large coffee filter and tie it up and have it sit on top of your sauce and have the same result.


Excerpted from THE HOOLIGAN'S TABLE by David Martin Copyright © 2012 by David Martin. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Rugby – An Introduction....................xix
A Rugby Player's Guide to Cooking and Eating....................xx
Chapter 1 – Line Out – Appetizers and Starters....................1
Chapter 2 – In the Scrum – Stews, soups and other hearty fare....................15
Chapter 3 – In the Centers – Main Dishes....................45
Chapter 4 – Hands in the Ruck – Sandwiches and Burgers....................81
Chapter 5 – Free Kicks – salads, sauces and sides....................101
Chapter 6 – Sin Bin – Desserts and other sweets....................115
Chapter 7 – Try Line – Post-game cocktails, breakfast....................125
About the Author....................137

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