Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent Hardcover – May 15 2012
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David Lebovitz, author of The Sweet Life in Paris
"From mango salsa to madeleines (with cornmeal, of course), in Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent, Texas and Paris meet deliciously with recipes that spice up the French classics -- and give a little bit of savoir-faire to Tex-Mex favorites!"
Clotilde Dusoulier, author of ChocolateAndZucchini.com and Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris
"You can take the cowgirl out of Texas and into a Paris kitchen, but her Southern roots will always show. In Ellise Pierce's lovable book, she tells us about embracing a new culinary culture while nurturing her own heritage, and her tempting recipes show you how to savor the best of both worlds."
Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table
“Ellise cooks like a cowgirl (albeit a French cowgirl with a perfectly tied silk scarf around her neck) and writes like your best friend. Whether you’re in France or America, you’d be hard pressed to find a better companion in the kitchen.”
Cheryl Lu- Lien Tan, author of A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family
“A charming tale of moving to Paris for love—and staying for food. Ellise Pierce’s delicious accounts of weaving together Texas and French cuisines will leave you hungry. But what truly satisfies are the lovely stories that bind them all together.
"Although simple and more classic than creative, the recipes are solid and should satisfy readers looking for a glimpse into a Texan expat’s home cooking."
“Pierce's self discovery is a foodie's gain. Her charming book, filled with humorous and romantic stories in Paris, is steadfastly rooted in Texas.”
“Delightful and delicious.”
"Irresistible… Cooks will totally get the way her mind arrives at quirky, clever combinations. You wind up with a continuum of dishes stretching from Texas to Paris, tucked around a lively and engaging narrative."
“Not only can this lady cook, she can write! Her background and obvious expertise as an author make this fine cookbook not only attractive and original, but a positive delight to read.”
“Not only does the ‘Cowgirl Chef’ cookbook come packed with yummy recipes and practical tips, it also has heartbreaking, and heartwarming, stories. They're stories that infuse the recipes with memories and meaning…if you want a keeper cookbook with humor, romance and more than 100 recipes that cover the miles between Texas and France, check out ‘Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent.’”
A Traveler’s Library.com
“Ellise Pierce is a real writer as well as a gifted cook and innovator. That makes Cowgirl Chef the kind of cookbook that you can sit down and read cover to cover. And the very talented photographer Steve Legato, makes me want to run right back to Paris and shop in an open air market.”
"It is time for some fun….Pierce’s book follows her delightful path to fusion cooking….The book ends with these words: ‘Turns out, moving to France was the best bad decision I ever made. Can’t wait to see what I’ll cook up next.’ Readers can’t either."
“…this is a fun cookbook. It is so kicked back, it is the next best thing to actually being with Ellise as she prepares many of her favorite recipes.”
About the Author
Ellise Pierce chronicles her expat adventures in recipes and stories on her blog, CowgirlChef.com, and in her Cowgirl Chef column, which runs in the 'Fort Worth Star-Telegram' and is distributed to more than 300 newspapers. She has written for 'Newsweek, People', and 'Texas Monthly'. Ellise lives in Paris and makes frequent trips back home to Dallas to see family and friends... and to stock up on jalapenos.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
After the introduction it is on to "Cowgirl Chef Kitchen Basic" where her equipment and ingredients are discussed. That leads folks into" Cowgirl Speak: A Trail Guide" that covers how to make adjustments for cooking times, sizes, etc.
The recipes start on page 22 with "Chapter One: Appetizers: Old Favorites and New Beginnings." Whether you want to make the Texas shaped cookies "Texas Killers" (pages 26-27) "Mushroom Tapenade" (pages 42-43) or "Cheesy Rosemary Olive Flatbread" (pages 48-51) among other dishes there is something here that blends Texas cooking with French cooking. Each recipe has an introduction to it about the background of the recipe, a serving suggestion, and a couple of tips regarding ingredients, freezing options, or other helpful advice. Pictures accompanying the recipe can be of the dish itself, ingredients, of Paris or elsewhere in France providing local color to the recipe being discussed. This same format continues throughout the book.
"Chapter 2: Cowgirlified Frenchy" begins on page 56 where the author notes, among interesting things, that jalapenos are not available in Paris. Over time she learned not only how to adjust to that, but to blend French Cuisine into her cooking. That gives rise to dishes such as "Cowgirl Quiche" (page 59-61), "Paris Chicken Fricassee" (page 72-75) among others.
According to the author the French are crazy about soups. They come next in "Chapter 3: Souped Up" starting on page 82. After some soup tips it is onto recipes such as "Smokin' Tortilla Soup" (page 86-89), "Broccoli-Basil Soup" (pages 95-97) or "Skin & Bones Chicken Stock" (pages 111-112) among others.
Of course when one thinks of soup, salad cannot be far behind. In "Chapter 4: Greens" the topic is salad in many varieties. "Les Halles Spinach Salad" (pages 124-125), "Texas Pickup Salad" (pages 138-140) among other choices are here. By the way, in this chapter you learn the interesting fact that Paris grocery stores close at 8 pm during the week and at 1pm on Sunday. Puts our 24 hour seven day a week grocery stores in real perspective.
If it is a Texas based cookbook it absolutely must have tacos. Part of the state constitution. Tacos are here in "Chapter 5: Tacos, Tarts, and Tartines" starting on page 152. You can put just about anything in a taco so give "Corona Beer-Braised Brisket Tacos" on pages 154-156 a try as well as some of the other taco suggestions. You can also try the "Tomato-Ricotta Tart" (pages 171-173), the Tex-Mex Tart" (pages 174-176) or the "Adobo Salmon Salad Tartines" (pages 192-194) among others.
Farmer markets are very big in Paris and there are over seventy of them in the area. That means there is a lot of produce to consider and Ellise Pierce uses what is season to drive her meals. That is just part of the introduction to "Chapter 6: Riding Side Saddle: Veggies" starting on page 198. Of course, there are Texas based dishes like "Mom's Black-Eyed Peas and Jalapeno Cornbread" (pages 208-210) as well as "French Bistro Green Beans" (page 218-219) and "Roasted Ratatouille" (pages 230-231) among others.
Meat, fish and poultry finally get their turn in "Chapter 7: From the Farm and Sea." Starting on page 234 there are recipes for items such as "Provencal Fish Stew" (pages 248-250), "Gascon-Style Pork Chops with Pepper Honey" (pages 254-256) and "Easy Roast Chicken" (page 264-265) among others. It was also interesting to learn in this chapter that the chicken is the national mascot of France (page 264).
If you still have room for dessert that begins on page 274 with "Chapter 8: Desserts." Among other delectable treats here there are recipes for "Grilled Oranges-Vanilla Pound Cake with Strawberries" (pages 279-281), "Watermelon Granita "(page 290-291) and "Peach Croustade" (page 306-309)
"Chapter 9: Tex-Mex" starts on page 310 and is all about home in Texas. The author may be living in Paris, France, but who she is day to day is Texan. Here are the recipes that made up her first cooking class such as "Wheat Tortillas" (pages 312-313), "Holy Guacamole" (page 318) among others including "Texas Chili" (pages 320-321).
The cookbook concludes with a very brief epilogue, a two page acknowledgment section, and a six page index. Unfortunately, there is no nutritional information in the book for those of us who need to pay attention to certain issues.
Despite the lack of nutritional information in the book, overall, this is a very well done cookbook. In addition to the cooking side of things, the over 300 pages cookbook also provides a lot of culture and history information about Paris, France as well as the joys and sorrows of American living abroad. Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent is more than a cookbook. It is also a cultural awareness guide and inspirational regarding reinventing yourself and adapting to new situations and experiences.
Material supplied by the good folks at the Plano, Texas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2012