September 11, 2015

The Rugby Pantry

A few weeks ago I was sent a copy of The Rugby Pantry to review.  The concept was born from a mutual passion for food and travel while friends Daisy Dagg and Amber Vito were on an international rugby tour with their All Black husbands Israel Dagg and Victor Vito.

Their by-line - "Healthy Measures and Guilty Pleasures" sums up this cookbook perfectly!  In their own words "Our philosophy is that home cooking doesn't have to be complicated, time consuming or scary, but meals should have great flavour, use fresh ingredients and be made with plenty of love.  Our focus in this cookbook is presenting both healthy and naughty recipes that are easy to prepare".  Sounds perfect to me and fits in with my belief - everything in moderation!

I had a quick flick through The Rugby Pantry when it first arrived and ear marked a few recipes I wanted to try.  When you ear mark this many recipes you know your on to a winner of a cookbook!

This week (while nursing a two year old with a split open forehead) I managed to try out a couple of The Rugby Pantry recipes and I was impressed by how easy they were to make and how tasty they were.

First up was The Rugby Pantry Chicken and Halloumi Salad (page 52) which was delicious!  My husband was a particular fan of this dish.  And I love any recipe that puts an interesting spin on a great salad.

And the next day our house will filled with the sweet, juicy smell of The Rugby Pantry Pulled Pork (page 32) as it simmered away all day in the crockpot.  It's supposed to be served on sliders but in the absence of sliders I served it on rice with side a homemade coleslaw.  Sssooo good!  The Rugby Pantry Coleslaw was gorgeous too!  The Apple Cider Vinegar was a really nice touch and added the perfect amount of tang and zest.  Will definitely be making this one again soon too!

All of the recipes are unpretentious, easy and accessible to everyone.  I loved the personal notes that Daisy and Amber have added before each of the recipes - it was almost like you were reading notes from a friend or getting a glimpse behind the scenes of All Black life!  I can't wait to work my way through the rest of this cookbook over the coming months.

Little Housewife were lucky enough to be chosen as part of The Rugby Tour Blog Tour and Daisy and Amber have kindly let us choose a recipe to share with you from their The Rugby Pantry cookbook.  I've chosen one that I am yet to try myself and is definitely on my ear marked list to sample soon.

Crispy-Skin Salmon with Balsamic Glaze & Orange Kumara Mash
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 25 Minutes
Serves: 4

4-6 orange kumara
A knob of fresh ginger
1 large tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
Balsamic glaze (see below)
Seasonal veggies
4 salmon fillets (deboned, skin on)
2 tablespoons coconut or canola oil

Heat a large pot of salted water.  Peel the kumara and chop into even chunks.  Boil for 10-20 minutes, until soft.  As the kumara cooks, make the glaze (see below).

Once the kumara is cooked, drain and add ginger and butter and plenty of salt and pepper.  Mash well or use a stick blender.  Set aside and keep warm while you cook the fish.

Prepare the salmon by patting down gently with paper towels until dry.  (This is key to crispy skin - you must remove all the excess moisture.)  Season the flesh with salt and pepper.  Heat a frying pan and add coconut or canola oil.

Gently rub the salmon skin with oil and place, skin side down, in the pan.  Set the timer for 4 minutes and using a metal spatula gently press on the fish for a few seconds to cook evenly.  When the fish is ready, it should flip with little resistance.  Turn gently and leave to cook for a further 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with tinfoil and leave to rest for 4 minutes.

Steam the veges.  Divide the mash, salmon and veges between four plates.  Drizzle the Balsamic Glaze on top or serve in a jug so friends and family can pour their own.

Balsamic Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Makes: 1/4 Cup
Place balsamic vinegar in a small non-reactive pot.  Add the cinnamon and sugar and bring to the boil.  As soon as it starts boiling, turn down the heat and simmer gently for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Watch carefully as it can burn quite quickly.  The glaze is ready when it coats the spoon and no longer has a strong acidic flavour.  Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl to cool.

Enjoy x

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