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A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  31 reviews
In A Girl and Her Pig, April Bloomfield takes home cooks on an intimate tour of the food that has made her a star. Thoughtful, voice-driven recipes go behind the scenes of Bloomfield's lauded restaurants - The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, and The John Dory - and into her own home kitchen, where her attention to detail and reverence for honest ingredients result in unforgettab ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by HaperCollins
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I read an impressive number of reviews on one web site where just about everyone insisted on reacting (negatively) solely to the image on the cover.

I too reacted strongly to the image on the cover of this book, but my reaction was more along the lines of "That is a bold, honest statement, and evidently this woman knows how to butcher her own meat if she buys it whole like that. Cool!"

I've been reading a lot lately about how industrialized the food has become in the United States and as a result
Straight away this book has seemed to spark controversy in some quarters. The front cover features a woman with a dead pig over her shoulders, not quite how a fox fur would be worn, yet there is nothing controversial, campaigning about the picture.

It is almost a serene, respectful scene. Nothing more, nothing less. The author, a renowned chef who was born in England but escaped to the United States, clearly likes her pigs - one of her restaurants is even named after a pig. A good chef will respe

I'm really just not into Anchovy Anything (especially Not on Lamb...BAH) or Deep Fried Pigs Ear Salad..... but if you can get past that, some of the recipes sound absolutely delightful: carrot, avocado, & orange salad; Caesar salad; Lentil/chickpea salad w/ feta & tahini; Grilled rib eye w/ romesco; Skirt steak w/ watercress & chiles; Tongue sandwiches; Tomatoes stewed w/ white wine & saffron; Swiss chard w/ olive oil; Beef & bayley hazen pie; or Whole suckling pig.

Then there
Four stars for the stories, two stars for the recipes - just because so few of them appealed to me.

She uses a lot of ingredients that would be difficult for me to find locally, so it's helpful that she provides sources at the end of the book.
I've heard a lot of good things about this book (and a lot of controversy) and spotted it this morning in ebook form at 90% discount. I had to have it despite my preference and insistence for having my cookbooks be physical objects.

This book is gorgeous. The recipes fully embrace that modern rustic trend, which I'm fully in favor of. The recipes speak to me with their elevated yet down to earth simplicity. The writing is enjoyable and April's voice is warm and pleasant.

I can't comment on how any
I really appreciate a technical, specific cookbook. Do I simplify when I use these recipes? yes, almost always. But first, I make better substitutions (grad student budget) when I know exactly what purpose an ingredient is serving. Second, when things go wrong, good source material is invaluable for diagnosis and making correcting notes for the future. My approach to cooking is that of a lifelong student, and this is an excellent text.
Gorgeous book. I love the abundance of pictures. I find the mix of easy and complicated recipes well-balanced. Only one of the recipes screamed at me: Cabbage and Bacon. It sounds so unassuming, but to me the melange of sweetly softened cabbage against the rich chew of bacon seems fantastic.
Came across the book from one of the Amateur Gourmet's blog posts extolling her adobo and curry recipes. While I have my family's adobo recipe, I love researching other adobo recipes and trying them out. I like that she uses chunks of unpeeled ginger and smashed garlic cloves. It's rustic, nonfussy, and simple. I like the curry recipe too, but its spice list does seem daunting. This is where "mise en place" comes in! Other than these two recipes, I didn't find others useful or interesting. I tri ...more
The book is down to earth, straightforward and simply delicious - like her food. The recipes are approachable, and easy to follow, not intimidating in the slightest.

She is generous and encouraging with her instructions, and hands on in every possible sense. The stories that she shares reveal her love for the tactile and sensory pleasures of cooking and her respect for ingredients, as well as her gratitude and affection for the people who showed her the way.

It makes me want to go directly to my
Gorgeous pics, adorable illustrations and an incredibly likeable chef. . . what more could you ask for? However, it really made me want to go to one of her restaurants - I'm not that likely to cook Fried Pig's Ear with Salad at home (or faggots, or most of the edibles in here). Even if I had the time, I'd be eating alone! However, her instructions are clear and her voice is great. Don't miss the chapters on sweets and libations - I did get to taste-test some of those and they're very worthwhile!
Though at first it thought it a bit foolish to rate the literary merits of a cookbook, I would say that "A Girl and Her Pig" is significantly better than some of the non-fiction I've recently read. Bloomfield's narration provides context to her recipes, allowing the reader to fully envision the experience of preparing one of her dishes. She clearly has a great respect for food (specifically ingredients); her recipes make preparing offal seem approachable, while elevating porridge to a high art f ...more
Most of the negative reviews are based on the cover. If you have ever had the good fortune to eat at an April Bloomfield restaurant you will love the recipes in this cookbook. The Fried Pig Ear Salad, no wonder it tastes so good its slowly cooked in duck fat, cooled then deep fried.

I eat meat so seeing a dead pig so what. Its going to wind up on my plate in all its lovely glory and this cookbook has some great recipes in it. From the poppy seed dressing to the pig ear salad.
Andrea Martin
I really enjoyed this cookbook. I liked her background on her recipes. Most of it I will never cook, simply because the ingredients aren't readily available here in Bugtussle, TN.
Looks good, but I have yet to actually cook anything. Will wait to rate until I have. I can say my friend made a ginger cake that everyone loved (from this book).

Just shared 9 dishes from "A Girl and Her Pig" by April Bloomfield with friends. Gotta say they were all really yummy. You need to use your own good sense a little with her recipes, but they are basically really good flavor combinations.
Other than the porridge recipe and one for radish salad I didn't find the recipes that helpful. As expected it's very meat focused. Though I like to eat things like sweetbreads and octopus when dining out, it's not the sort of thing I cook at home. Also, some of the recipes seem like rip-offs of others - carrot, avocado, orange salad is exactly the same as the Jamie Oliver one published years earlier.
Luna Raven
Some good looking recipes in here,excited to try them out. Will update then.
Erik Waiss
Very interesting, rustic, and shall we say hearty recipes, many of which include some bit of offal. However, it is unlikely that I will be allowed to roast a whole lambs head in the oven. Mores the pity...
I got this from the library and it was a fun browse-through. I only found one recipe I wanted, and it was a cocktail. I loved my meal at the Breslin, but I suppose I'd rather Ms. Bloomfield cook it for me. :)
Alison James
There weren't many recipes I was drawn to make. The summer tomato soup was good (I like that it isn't cream based), but it was too salty. Other recipes I tried were fine, but nothing special.
Lauren orso
this is an extremely nice cookbook, from which i would make all the recipes if i wasn't a.) broke, b.) a lazy, and c.) a broke and lazy slob. but you totally should!?#@#*!
I thought this book would be more autobiographical but it is more of a recipe book. I'm a bit disappointed because I prefer to know more about her and her pig. :)
Some items I'd like to make. Many just a bit too fussy for the time and energy I have. Definitely loves her sardines, pequin chilies, and Maldon salt.
Oct 06, 2012 Maggi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: food

Great book. Believe it or not some of her salads are great. I love the girl, and her pig. And her inventive, spicy and strong drinks.
Maureen Flatley
Fabulous and highly readable from Mario Batali's protege and owner of the Spotted Pig in NYC. Loved.
Ari Hershberg
Thank you April for being alive. The best cookbook I have read in quite awhile.
May 19, 2012 Felicia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
This is a great book. It has funny stories and great recipes. I loved it.
the meat recipes are awesome but the veggies leave a bit to be desired....
Alessandra Porro
Cozinha sem frescuras: receitas e historias deliciosas e capa é sensacional!
Some great recipes and stories in here. Must get to cooking!
Dec 30, 2013 SA rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Absolutely charming. I particularly loved the illustrations.
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April Bloomfield has spent most of her life in the kitchen and had the pleasure of working with some of the most revolutionary chefs before taking on a kitchen of her own. A native of Birmingham, England, April began her culinary studies at Birmingham College. From there, she went on to hone her craft through cook positions in various kitchens throughout London and Northern Ireland, including Kens ...more
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