Monday, May 14, 2012

Zucchini Galettes with Chipotle Creme Fraiche + Book Giveaway

I’m thrilled to share a new book with you today, and I am literally sharing since one lucky commenter will receive a copy of it. The book is Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent by Ellise Pierce who also writes the blog Cowgirl Chef. I received a review copy, and the publisher has provided an extra book to give away. Ellise and I have chatted via Twitter, visited each other’s blogs, and emailed up and back for a couple of years now. All the while, I’ve been green with envy over the fact that she lives in Paris with all those boulangeries and patisseries right outside her door. And, since she’s from Texas, she’s been maybe a little jealous of my easy access to Tex-Mex restaurants and our amazing, summer peaches here in Austin. But, as she explains in this book, one way to close that gap between far-away places is through cooking. When she arrived in Paris and things felt unfamiliar, what made everything better was cooking the dishes she missed from home. Then, little by little, she started finding new favorite foods and warming up to her new home. In the chapter intros and recipe headnotes, which are so well-written, you get glimpses of Ellise’s Parisian life, navigating different markets, learning to substitute ingredients, and working on her French accent both in the city and on trips to other parts of the country.

The recipes are either Texas-style food with French flair or homemade versions of French restaurant dishes. There are Chicken Empanadas with Cilantro Yogurt made with classic roast chicken, Cowgirl Quiche with a polenta crust, My Big Fat French Salad based on one from Le Relais du Gascon, Spinach Potato and Caramelized Onion Tacos served with homemade salsa if you can’t get Cholula, Basque-style Fish en Papillote, Brown Butter Walnut Cakes, and French Chocolate Sauce. I especially enjoyed the tips or Double-Duty suggestions for recipes. For instance, the Gascon-Style Pork Chops with Pepper Honey includes suggestions for other uses for that black pepper honey like spooning it over slices of Manchego. Another tip that caught my eye was in the recipe for Cauliflower Galettes with Chipotle Creme Fraiche in which she suggests the option of using zucchini instead of cauliflower. I had just received some zucchini from my CSA, and I couldn’t wait to try those little, savory cakes made with cornmeal and topped with spicy creme fraiche. If you do use cauliflower, there are instructions for roasting it first, but with zucchini, you just grate it, leave it raw, and add it to the batter. The batter is made by whisking cornmeal, baking powder, sea salt, cayenne, and cumin in a bowl. In a separate bowl, eggs, plain yogurt, and water were combined, and the wet mixture was poured over the dry ingredients and mixed. The grated zucchini, some grated cheddar, and sliced green onions were folded into the batter. Little pancakes were fried in vegetable oil over medium-low heat so the middles could cook through before the surfaces browned too much. Chopped, canned chipotles were stirred into creme fraiche for the topping.

The crispy-edged galettes had great texture from the cornmeal, the cumin and cayenne gave them spunk, and the cool, spicy, tangy creme fraiche was deliciously French-Tex-Mex. When I’m longing for a life in Paris, I can make some Caramel Fleur de Sel Pots de Creme, and when Ellise is homesick, she can whip up a batch of homemade Corn Tortillas. It’s not exactly the same as being there, but it’s faster than a transatlantic flight.

Leave a comment by noon CST on Monday May 21, 2012 for a chance to win a copy of Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent. Include your email address so I can contact you. The winner will need to provide a mailing address in the US to receive the book.

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.

Ellise will be in Texas for book signing events at the following locations:

Tuesday, May 15 Austin, TX Westwood Country Club (invitation only luncheon)

Saturday, June 2 Dallas, TX Southern Methodist University bookstore, 2 pm

Sunday, June 3 Fort Worth, TX TCU campus bookstore, 1 pm

Saturday, June 9 San Antonio, TX The Twig Bookshop, 10 am – 12 pm

Sunday, June 10 San Antonio, TX Quarry Farmers Market

Saturday, July 7 Fort Worth, TX Cowtown Farmers Market

Monday, Aug 13 Austin, TX Lake Austin Spa Resort

Cauliflower Galettes with Chipotle Creme Fraiche
Recipe re-printed with publisher's permission from Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent by Ellise Pierce, Running Press, 2012.

Makes about a dozen (2 1/2-inch/6 cm) galettes

1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
olive oil
sea salt and pepper
1 cup/145 grams of cornmeal
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
2 eggs
1 (5.29 ounce/150 gram) container of Greek yogurt
1 cup/240 ml of water
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup/60 grams of grated cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Chipotle Creme Fraîche (recipe follows)

1. Preheat your broiler and line a cookie sheet with foil. Position a rack in the middle of the oven.
2. Toss the cauliflower florets on the foil-lined cookie sheet, add a little olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss it all together with your hands, then slide the pan into the oven. The florets will begin to brown after about 10 minutes—when they do, pull them out of the oven and turn them over, so the other side browns, too. This’ll take about 10 more minutes. When browned on both sides, remove from the oven and let cool.
3. To make the galettes, in a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and water. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir together. If the batter is too thick, just add a bit more water. Gently fold in the cauliflower florets, grated cheddar, and green onions, reserving about 2 tablespoons of green onions for garnish.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a skillet and turn the heat to medium-low. When it’s hot, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the batter for each galette into the skillet, fitting in as many as you can. You’ll need to work in batches. Cook the galettes for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottoms are brown, and flip to the other side for another few minutes. You don’t want these to cook too fast, or they’ll be wet in the middle. Repeat with the remaining vegetable oil and batter. Serve immediately with Chipotle Crème Fraîche, and sprinkle some chopped onions on top.

ADVANCE PLANNING: Roast your cauliflower ahead of time, so all you have to do is assemble and cook them up.
COWGIRL TIP: Reheat your leftover galettes the next day—just pop them in the toaster.
SWAP-IT: Try using grated zucchini instead of cauliflower.

Chipotle Creme Fraiche

Makes 2 cups/480 ml

16 ounces/480 ml of crème fraîche or sour cream
2 to 3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

Toss your chipotles in a food processor to finely chop them up, or do this by hand. Add your crème fraîche or sour cream, and stir it up. Voila!

UPDATE: 21 May 2012 The winner of the cookbook is Sarah from the blog Thyme.


  1. A pity this giveaway is only for US residents... ;-)

    Those galettes look mighty scrumptious! I love the addition of chipotle.



  2. I get sooo many cookbooks as a food blogger but this one sounds like one I would actually keep and use often. Spicy and french are my two favorite foods but don't often go together! Can't wait to try this recipe, either - looks a - ma - zing!!!

  3. I do hope you get to meet her in person when she is in Austin! And then, I do hope she invites you to spend time in Paris! And.....then you can invite me along to accompany you! Oh my, that was a bit forward. Anyway, I'd love to check out her blog and your zucchini galettes look great for summer. P.S. Did I mention my daughter chose U.T.?? We'll be going back and forth during the summer and as her parents, we are thrilled she will be 3 hours away.

  4. The zucchini galettes look amazing, and I'm always looking for a new use for zucchini, summer being what it is. I love the addition of the chipotle creme fraiche -- yum! Fingers crossed that I win the books, since it sounds really interesting.

  5. what a great dish! that chipotle creme fraiche is simply inspired!

  6. I'm heading into the kitchen to make the Cauliflower Galettes right now :)

  7. Everything sounds delicious!

  8. i might be tempted to eat the chipotle creme fraiche as a side dish. :)

  9. I love all things zucchini... My favourite is a zucchini bake with loads of cheese - similar to a potato bake, but with zucchini. Thanks for sharing your recipe.. might have to give this a go.

  10. I can't wait to try these with leftover roasted cauliflower! I love cauliflower recipes and I will try them with the zucchini this summer.

  11. What an interesting format for a cookbook. I know that giving a 'French twist' to my own cooking (often by adding my home grown Herbes de Provence or a splash of good wine) makes everything taste so much better, so I'm sure this cookbook would really spice things up at my house!

  12. A very interesting cookbook. I love zucchini in galettes but never thought of using cauliflower before. Shall try this soon.

  13. These looks fabulous....
    I love the addition of chipotle... Beautiful!!

    1. Both the cauliflower and zucchini galettes sound wonderful! And the cookbook does too. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  14. These pancakes are so beautifully pan-fried to golden brown perfection.

  15. Yummy cauliflower recipe! Even the zucchini gallettes concept is so inviting! I am going to try both!!

  16. A French/Texan fusion that's something you don't come across every day! But it's bound to be full of deliciousness, if these galettes are any indication!

  17. Love the chipotle on the side for one of my favourite ways to serve zucchini.

  18. I'm always in for a new cookbook. Going to try these soon. I don't like cauliflower so will definitely use the zucchini. Thanks for sharing receips.

  19. The book sounds good and this recipe sounds wonderful. I just printed it to make.

  20. Jealous of your sneak peak into this wonderful book but so glad you shared a recipe with us. These look completely divine and I love the combo of earthy veg (made crispy!) and a creamy yet zippy sauce.

  21. Those zucchini gallettes do look terrific I think I'd buy her book for that Caramel Fleur de Sel Pots de Creme recipe alone. Her book and blog sound delightful. Obviously I've been missing out. I'll have to check her out post haste!

  22. I had some zucchinis in the fridge and was wondering what I could do with them. I'm trying this recipe, and I hope they'll turn out as good as these!

  23. Sounds like a fun and interesting book! These fritters are right up my alley.

  24. Wow, if this recipe is indicative of others in the book, it sounds like a great one to add to my cookbook library.

  25. These cauliflower galettes look incredible. I made corn fritters on the weekend and they looked a bit like these - but without the Creme Fraiche. I'm sure that's a really interesting cookbook because the cuisine of Texas and the cuisine of Paris would be an interesting pairing. xx

  26. They look delicious and fresh esp using in-season leeks and zucchini.

  27. hmm being that at certain times of the year i am in desperate need of creative zuc recipes this book might just be perfect!!!! yum

  28. These galettes are so creative, delicious and actually in season - yum :D
    And what a wonderful giveaway my friend!

    Choc Chip Uru

  29. Lisa, these galettes look great, love how your the chipotle with the creme fraiche. Beautiful pictures as always...thanks for this recipe and have a wonderful week :)

  30. I heart galettes of any sort!

  31. I'm a big fan of her blog and, being from Texas and living in Paris myself, would love to win her cookbook. Linda @

  32. Cool post, and great recipe!

    Here is my comment... and you know I live in the US ;-)

  33. Count me in please!

    -Britt T.


  34. Love the zucchini galettes with chipotle creme, what a fantastic recipe for all that summer zucchini! Cowgirl Chef is a blog that is new to me, thanks for the introduction.

  35. with the zucchini season lasting all summer long, these galettes will be made in my kitchen quite often. Thanks for sharing Lisa!

  36. These look delish! I love zucchini sticks and chipotle individually; so I would imagine these would be right up my alley. Can't wait to try them out!

  37. What a cute sounding cookbook! Would love to try it out!

  38. I would love to add this one to my collection.

  39. Mmm, sounds good! I'd love to add Ellise's book to my stash. :)


  40. Though my move was only a state away, I concur that cooking the foods from home make the oddness of a new place a little easier to bear. Austin? Paris? It's probably the same, no? hahaha. What a lovely move to be in on, if vicariously, through a cookbook. (margaret christine, frommaggiesfarm at gmail dot come)

  41. This book sounds wonderful, and I look forward to trying the galettes!

  42. They look so crisp and yummy. I love making zucchini fritters. They are such a great snack :)

  43. I want to make these tonight using zucchini - about how much zucchini do you need? Thanks!


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