You just have to love a southern gal from Texas who as a little girl grew up cooking in an Easy Bake Oven and had a subscription to Gourmet at twelve years old. In adulthood she moved from Texas to Paris but in order to stay in Paris she started her own catering business and began teaching other American expats how to re-create flavors from home. Using French ingredients and techniques from both sides of the Atlantic, she did more than form a culinary company—she created a unique style of cooking that’s part Texas, part French, and all cowgirl. Ellise Pierce’s unique cooking style is reflected in her recently published Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent.
Only a cowgirl from Texas could have a chapter titled Tacos, Tarts and Tartines that asks: What do tacos, tarts, and tartines have in common? They’re really easy to assembly. Simple to serve. Food that’s fast, but doesn’t come through your car window in a paper sack that includes a recipe for Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Tartines. In the Cowgirlified Frenchy chapter you learn that when she returns home to Texas for visits she fills her Samsonite with jalapenos, Fritos, Velveeta, Rotel and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. But no matter the size of her luggage she’d run out of her American favorites so she plunged into French food magazines, cookbooks and techniques to make them her own. The result: Tex-Mex and her Southern home cooking with French cuisine. This includes her Peanut Butter-Chocolate Soufflés that includes high-quality white chocolate and Skippy peanut butter because that can be found in Paris. In the Riding Side-Saddle: Veggies chapter she writes: Before there was an Eiffel Tower—even before Paris was Paris—there were markets here… It’s the same today. There’s a market in every one of Paris’ twenty arrondissements, and then some. She likes the open air markets the best and lets the ingredients dictate the way she cooks versus letting the recipes dictate. Riding Side-Saddle: Veggies contains the recipe for Green Chile-Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes which incorporates potatoes, goat cheese, green chiles, butter, sea salt and cream.