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Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent Hardcover – May 15 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (May 15 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762444630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762444632
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 2.8 x 22.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 885 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #838,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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 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.

Publisher’s Weekly
"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."

Houston Chronicle
“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.”

France Magazine
“Delightful and delicious.”

Dallas Morning News
"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."
San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review
“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.”  
Annia Ciezadlo, author of Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War
“A mouthwatering meditation on what it means to keep your traditions while learning new ones. Ellise's answer to this age-old dilemma is in her recipes, exquisitely simple creations that will make you homesick even if you've never been to Paris—or Texas."
San Angelo Standard-Times
“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
“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.”

Palm Beach Daily News
"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."
Tucson Citizen’s “What’s Cooking”
“…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,, 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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked this book. The recipes are easy and tasty. Each recipe has a story about the authors experience of living in Paris, her relationship with the French food, how homesick she was for the comfort of Tex-Mex style she grew up with and how she learned to love both
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 24 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to any cookbook collection! May 3 2012
By New York Foodie - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I met Ellise Pierce by chance on a visit to Paris six years ago and started following her very witty and entertaining blog when I got home. Her descriptions of life in Paris as an ex-pat were a treat for a Francophile like me and I took note of her recommendations! Then I started trying a few of her recipes. They were easy to follow, fairly uncomplicated and most of all -- absolutely delicious. So I was delighted when I heard she was publishing a cookbook. Neither a tex-mex or a french cookbook, this is a wonderful combination of both -- like cornbread Madeleines and tacos with a tasty Roquefort slaw. Her mother's recipes are lovingly gathered here, as well as helpful hints, anecdotes about life in Paris, and gorgeous photographs of this beautiful city. A delight for eyes as well as the palate! Mother's Day is right around the corner and I can't think of a better gift for any Mom, well, aside from a trip to Paris!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars France and Texas combine in "Cowgirl Chef" Oct. 27 2012
By Kevin Tipple - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Cooking has always been a part of Ellise Pierce's life whether it was living back home in Denton, Texas or half a world away in Paris, France. With a relationship under stress and her freelance writing career tanked, she slowly found herself again by cooking. Gradually she built a cooking career by teaching home cooking for other ex-pats living in Paris. This and much more is explained in the introduction to Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent.

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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cowgirl Chef Aug. 10 2012
By Crystalfox - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having recently met Ellise at her cooking tour through TX at Central Market's Cooking School, I just had to get her book! Everything she demo'd at the class is in the book and was so simple and delicious. She is witty and full of humor and stories to share. Love how she has had to improvise Texas cooking with French items. I think I'm going to get another book for my French girlfriend in Provence as a gift since Danielle used to live in Dallas in the 80's....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is now my go to cookbook. Oct. 28 2012
By T. Nash - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I received this book for my birthday a few months ago, and I have been beyond impressed. I have made about 10 dishes from it now, and all of them have been good. Actually, all but one has been excellent. The jalapeno cornbread is now my favorite cornbread, and as a southerner, I do not take cornbread lightly. Also, the author goes so far as to tell you how you can do "double duty" with the leftovers by making croutons. The Texas chili wowed all of my friends. The tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons is hands-down the best tomato soup I've ever had. Tonight, I made the minestrone for a group of friends, and even a two year old loved it. Miss Pierce's introduction into the recipes makes you feel like you own a little bit of it, too. I think her circumstances give her extra credence; reading about her struggles to make Texas comfort food with the available ingredients in France makes me feel like I can tackle making any of these dishes, regardless of how overwhelming it looks. I am by no means an experienced chef, but the recipes from this book make me look like one. I even get compliments when I take the leftovers to work.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Cookbook? May 9 2012
By Marianna - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do you really need another cookbook? The answer is YES. I am embrarrassed to say how many cookbooks I have and cherish. Ellise transports Paris and Texas onto a plate with such ease. She an incredible writer and her infectous personality, warmth, and spirit is reflected in this cookbook. I 've already tried several of her recipes and they are foolproof. Her quick and easy style is just perfect for the home cook. The slight peek into her Paris life as she introduces every recipe breeds such anticipation for what has been tried and true to native roots. You won't be sorry in adding this cookbook to your collection. Plan on your family and guests wanting a copy for themselves. Ellise is a small town chef with big leaque talent.