Disclosure: This Goat Cheese and Chive Stuffed Piquante Peppers post was sponsored by Bota Box, but the recipe and opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!
These Goat Cheese and Chive Stuffed Piquante Peppers are loaded with flavor, and they’re a great summer appetizer!
Troubadour. A poet who traveled from town to town in the Middle Ages singing his songs and poems for local royalty as well as the men and women of the town. The troubadour tradition faded away in the 1500’s…or so we thought. It turns out that troubadours are alive and well in upstate New York! You see, our neighbors started a tradition years ago called Thursday Night Troubadours. During the summer, we all gather in someone’s backyard for a little bit of merriment and general relaxation. Drinks are BYOB, and the host usually sets out some simple appetizers. When Thursday night rolls around, Laura and I usually grab a Bota Mini (equal to about 3 glasses of wine) and head off down the street to Troubadours!
Troubadours is meant to be a nice and easy casual event. It’s basically a chance for neighbors to get together and chat. The event moves around to a different house each week, and we all look forward to seeing our friends and neighbors at Troubadours. For the record, though, we don’t arrive singing songs about chivalry and courtly love. Although that would make for an interesting twist to next week’s Troubadours! (I can play the washboard. Let’s get someone else on a harmonica and perhaps a fiddle, and we can be a marching band coming right down the street. Of course, the Troubadour host of the night might close up shop when they see that racket coming…)
I love summer appetizers, and Troubadours is a great excuse to get creative and come up with fun (but easy) little bites to share with folks. We made these Goat Cheese and Chive Stuffed Piquante Peppers recently, and they were a huge hit! (Actually, we made these stuffed piquante peppers when Laura’s parents were in town as a trial run for our next Troudabour night.) Not familiar with stuffed piquante peppers? They’re actually quite easy! Most grocery stores carry jarred piquante peppers in the olive/pickle section, or you might also find them at the olive bar if your store happens to have one in it’s deli department.
Back home, I just pat the piquante peppers dry (they come packed in water) and then I mix up a fun filling to stuff inside. This time I went with a creamy goat cheese mixed with fresh chives from our backyard. Oh, and even though their name sounds spicy, piquante peppers are actually on the milder side. The bright red color of these peppers contrasted with the goat cheese filling makes for a fun and attractive summer appetizer!
As I mentioned, Thursday Night Troubadours is a BYOB event. The host usually sets out an ice chest, and folks bring along anything from bottled water to beer or wine. A couple of years ago, Laura and I discovered that boxed wine is actually a great drink to bring along to Troubadours. We grab a couple of our glasses (usually plastic ones) along with a box of wine and off we go down the street. Bota Box is one of our favorite boxed wines, and we’ve started keeping Bota Minis around for summer festivities. Whether it’s Troubadours, hanging out on the back deck or some other summer festivity, Bota Minis are perfect as they are compact and made primarily from paper…so no glass is involved.
Oh, and you don’t have to sacrifice on flavor if you go with boxed wine, either! Bota Box’s Nighthawk Black Red Blend was featured by Wine Enthusiast magazine as the #1 red wine in their Top 100 Best Buys of 2016. Bota Box’s various wines are also frequently mentioned by Wine Spectator, too. Bota Box wines have won 30 gold medals in competitions since 2011, and they’ve garnered 35 “Best Buy” ratings from Wine Enthusiast. Those are legit awards! And the packaging for is created with 100% post-consumer fiber using unbleached recycled paper. The packaging itself is 100% recyclable, too.
Boxed wines are actually growing faster than bottled wines in the U.S. in recent years, and part of the reason is the increased quality among boxed wines. Bota Box wines are stored in a vacuum bag, so you can pour as much or as little as you’d like at a time. Thus, Bota Box wines are perfect for our Thursday Night Troubadours. They offer a 500ml size that’s equivalent to about 3 glasses of wine, or they also offer a 3L size that’s equivalent to (4) 750ml bottles of wine. (That’s a good one for sharing!)
Do you have parties with friends and neighbors during the summer? If not, you should! Start up your own version of Thursday Night Troubadours. (We found Thursday night is ideal as it’s near the end of the week, but it doesn’t interfere with weekend plans.) Just put flyers in your neighbor’s mailboxes and get Troubadours started. Then have a sign-up sheet on hand for folks to sign up to host throughout the summer.
And if you’re off to a Troubadour event of your own, might I suggest these Goat Cheese and Chive Stuffed Piquante Peppers along with a box of Bota Box wine? It makes for a great combination! Check out Bota Box’s varieties, too! We are partial to their Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc, but they have a number of other award-winning, vintage varietals as well. Oh, and fun fact to share on your next neighborhood troubadour event: a female troubadour is called a trobairitz. Enjoy, my friends!