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Friday, April 13, 2012

50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #43 April Bloomfield - Warm Bacon and Egg Salad

the "Gourmet" prompt...
43. April Bloomfield- New York’s Spotted Pig and Breslin chef came from England to infect an entire country with the gastropub. Which wouldn’t have worked if she weren’t such a culinary magician.

April Bloomfield actually started cooking by chance.  Her intention was actually to become a police officer in Birmingham, England, but she wound up not getting her application turned in in time.  So instead, she followed her 2 sisters into cooking school.  She worked her way around London, even working Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray (they were #26 on our list) at the River Café.    In the US, she even spent a summer working with (#2 on the list) Alice Waters at Chez Panisse.  Jamie Oliver actually recommended her to Mario Batale who mentioned her to Ken Friedman who was looking for a chef to run the kitchen of The Spotted Pig.  After taking a bit of a food tour of NYC with Friedman and Batali, they knew she was the one.
Bloomfield is now co-owner of The Spotted Pig as well as The Breslin (in The Ace Hotel) and John Dory Oyster Bar (also in The Ace).  Her book, A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories  was released just 3 days ago.  I am looking forward to reading more about and from this somewhat elusive chef (as in, she keeps to herself - no show boating).

Bloomfield fell in love with fresh, simple, local ingredients after eating a Walnut Pasta dish at the River Café that was packed with fresh, local ingredients - nothing fancy, just the food shining through.  She  says “It was the most amazing thing I’d ever eaten. It was like someone had hit me in the head with a great pan.  It shocked me into another palate level, and it made me question what I had been doing for the last ten years.”  This feeling shines through in her food today.  She puts her classical French and Italian cooking techniques into cooking the English food that she grew up with and is an advocate of not only using fresh, local ingredients but using ALL of in head-to-tail cooking.  As it should be, in my opinion.  Showing great respect too the animals that gave their lives to nourish you.
Warm Bacon & Egg Salad

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Keywords: entree salad breakfast bacon eggs arugula

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • ¼ c. + 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 c. (heaping) ½" bread cubes
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 oz. arugula
  • ¼ c. chopped chives
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat until golden, ~2 mins. Transfer to a blender jar or mini-food processor using a slotted spoon (leaving behind the oil). Add the anchovies, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and ¼ c. of the oil and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the cubed bread to the skillet with the garlic oil and cook until golden and crisp, stirring from time to time, ~3 minutes. Transfer to a dish and set aside.

Heat the last Tbs. of oil in the skillet. Add bacon and cook until done the way you like it. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate leaving the grease in the skillet.

Heat the bacon grease in the skillet and crack the eggs in. Fry up the eggs how you like them over medium-high heat. (For over easy, leave them for about 1½ minutes on the first side and 30 seconds on the other).

To serve, toss the arugula and the croutons with the dressing in a large bowl. Place the dressed salad on serving plates and sprinkle with the chopped chives. Divide the bacon and fried eggs over the salads and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy.

adapted from April Bloomfield
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I chose this salad to represent April this week because I think it showcases some of the best local ingredients it's simple and tasty.  These gorgeous organic eggs are from a local farmer, the bacon, arugula, and chives were found in my local farmer's market.  The golden, garlicky bread crumbs are from a loaf of bread that I made in my kitchen.  Fresh, local ingredients and simplicity combine to make deliciously satisfying eating.
*source: NY Magazine: Of Pig Snouts and Head Cheese
In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?

I am sharing this post with:
friday food at mom trends foodiebutton2 foodfriday weekend cooking fresh sheet fridays Souper_Sundays2

Would you like to comment?

  1. This is the third breakfast in a row from our game-changers today! I better stop drooling and go eat!
    Wonderful recipe AND nice post about April.

  2. Love the multicoloured eggs in the photo as well as the salad recipe Heather. Great writeup as well.

  3. Love your use of local ingredients to recreate this recipe by April Bloomfield. The eggs are gorgeous!

  4. Gail@Faithfulness FarmApril 13, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    YUM!! Perfectly low-carb!! I'll be making this for sure!!


  5. When I first saw the title of the recipe my nose wrinkled. I hate egg salad!! That said, this is an egg salad I can and will make and eat and love. Thanks for the great recipe Heather and I love the egg photos as well...who'da thunk: Eggs as Art!!!

    Have a great weekend!

  6. What a great lunch this would make. Beautiful photos!

  7. This is shining simplicity and I wish it was in front of me now. It's breakfast! It's brunch! It's lunch! It's dinner! So much goodness.

  8. Man, anything with a runny egg .. I'm in!

  9. This is such a creative way to enjoy the peppery bite of arugula!  Thank you for sharing this seasonal eats recipe on Fresh Sheet Fridays.  This is definitely a recipe I am looking forward to trying.

  10. I could do without the bacon, but the anchovies are a very healthy addition. This makes a Great lunch!

  11. I love salads with runny eggs…so yummy! Your photos are wonderful! Love those beautiful eggs! Nice post!

  12. You had me at bacon. The runny eggs are just the icing on the cake so to speak. I love this salad and cant wait to make it.

  13. is there anything better in life than runny egg yolk? I think not.

  14. Fresh and local ingredients don't need to be "dressed up". They are so fresh and delicious, and they shine in a simple recipes as this one. Perfect!

  15. Wow never thought of making dish. Love it!
    The Cake

  16. First time visiting your space and now I m hooked :D. Great post. Love the runny egg.

  17. What great photos! Love this kind of salad; thank you for sharing; youcan be sure I saved and will be making it soon.

  18. That salad looks so fresh and delicious, it almost jumps off the page. I'm going to look for these ingredients at the local Farmer's Market and give it a try.

  19. Caite@ a lovely shore breezeApril 14, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    I am not a huge runny egg fan...but that does look tasty.

  20. What a great story! I would love that salad. We get our eggs from a local farmer and it's fun to see what colors the shells are each week.

  21. These pictures look just crazy good!!  I think I would love this.  April sure hangs out with all the A listers - right?

  22. As often as possible, I get eggs from my friend. She has an assortment of heritage chickens, so I never know what colour the egg shells will be, the one this I am assured is that they are fresh and flavourful.

  23. Very nice post.  You might like to consider linking to it via my Food on Friday which was all about eggs.    Food on Friday

  24. The link is working just fine.  Thanks.

  25. I'm not sure about runny eggs on salad for me but the farm fresh eggs au natural look amazing!

  26. That is so much prettier than I imagined an egg and bacon salad would be. Yum!

  27. I'm really enjoying your 50 Women in Food series. April Bloomfield sounds like a great chef.

  28. This salad looks perfect. As soon as I saw the recipe, it was added to my to do list. 

  29. That really is my idea of the perfect salad! What a wonderful lunch.

  30. Oh man! I haven't had my breakfast yet and this sounds absolutely amazing! Nothing better than over easy eggs with some crispy bacon. Love the idea of dijon mustard as a compliment.

  31. Oh my goodness, this looks and sounds divine! 

  32. There is very little that runny egg yolk and thick pieces of bacon can't make better. This salad looks delicious. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays! ;-)

  33. Gerry @ Foodness GraciousApril 16, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    Lately I've been doing a lot of soft egg dishes and a soft egg goes with almost anything to be honest, i love that, I just love it!!

  34. a runny egg over a warm salad, perfection.... my hubby would love this.

  35. oh, i love this! fresh and simply satisfying!

    thank you so much for sharing over at Food Friday, Heather

  36. Last week you very kindly linked an eggy post to my Food on Friday series.  This week it is all about asparagus.  Would love to see another contribution from you.   Food on Friday

  37. the salad looks so delish and healthy choice too :-) Dropping by from lasts week FF