Cowgirls Unite

Social media. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Time wasters or connectors? Essential tools or separators?

No matter what your current position on social media--and I for one have definitely scaled back since they can be such time vampires, we can agree that it has done at least one of two things for you--either brought you and an old friend back together or has helped you find and make new friends.

That's how I met the Cowgirl Chef. Twitter was our common denominator. Being the Cowgirl Gourmet and all, we had an instant "cowgirl" connection. And that was almost three years ago. I remember because I had just started Cowgirl Granola and was trying to promote my new product, using Twitter as a medium.

I sent several bags of Cowgirl Granola to some high profile tweeters out there (hoping they would tweet about their special delivery) and, natch, the Cowgirl Chef was on my hit list. Problem was, she lived in Paris. Yes, she was a Texan through and through, but she only returned to the states occasionally. That made it a little tough for me to ship to her.

But this weekend, I am going to get to deliver some Cowgirl Granola to the Cowgirl Chef. In person. That's right, Ellise Pierce is going to be at the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market this Sunday sharing a recipe from her cookbook and autograph copies.

I have had the hot-off-the-press cookbook for several weeks now and I have really loved reading through the stories and the recipes. The chapter titles may have food names, and there may be recipes, but this is really a book. One that you can laugh at and imagine these things happening right along with her.

Having lived in Mexico for a handful of years, these often times hilarious stories she shares are ones that I can so relate to. As for her cooking style, it's Texas, down-home cooking with a Parisian flair. I just love the way she "throws together" salads using what she has on hand and comes up with something so good and tasty, it's a recipe--Throw Together Salad. Page 137. (For those of you market regulars, you'll be pleased to know that this is what Ellise is "throwing together" for her cooking demo.)

In honor of her visit to the Alamo City, I decided to make a "throw together" salad. I have been eyeing a few ingredients in my overstuffed veggie drawer and overflowing windowsill and was inspired by the Cowgirl Chef to do it.

French breakfast radishes from Springfield Farm. Zamudio Farms' green onions. Red onions grown by 3-G Farm. Indian cucumbers grown by Pedro of My Father's Farm and pickling cucumbers from Bikkurim. Herbs from our garden. My Father's Farm lettuce and arugula from Springfield Farm.

Tomatoes grown by Springfield Farm and crumbled Lorberau Farms' chevre.

So throw yourself together and I'll see you at the market this Sunday...this cookbook makes a great addition to your collection and a thoughtful gift for friends who cook or even those who need inspiration to cook.

Buen provecho!

My version of the Cowgirl Chef's Throw Together Salad.

Throw Together Salad
The Cowgirl Gourmet is sharing Cowgirl Chef's recipe from her new cookbook, Texas Cooking with a French Accent

Print recipe

I used this recipe as a baseline and threw together radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, green and red onions, chevre and avocado with arugula, herbs and spring mix.

Makes 4 servings

16 thin slices of chorizo or other spicy cured sausage
1 head of romaine lettuce, cut into 2-inch/5 cm strips of roughly torn (arugula is the lettuce of choice)
2 ripe apricots, pits removed and cut into 8 slices each (peaches is what she's going to use this week)
3/4 cup/75 grams of pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
1-2 Tablespoons crumbled feta
a big splash of balsamic vinegar
olive oil
sea salt and pepper

Fry up your chorizo until crisp in a skillet, just as you would with bacon, and let it drain on paper towels.

Put the romaine, apricots, pecans and feta in a big bowl. Add the crispy chorizo. Right before serving, splash on some balsamic vinegar and olive oil, along with a bit of sea salt and pepper.

Toss and serve.


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