Sunday, August 28, 2011

We're having a contest and YOU could win it!

Enter to win today!

Are you Bon Vivant's biggest fan? Prove it!

We're giving away a dozen of our most requested cookies; Monkey Chip.
It's our first contest and YOU could win it! That's right, you!

Simply 'like' Bon Vivant on Facebook and you will immediately be entered into our voting pool. If you already like Bon Vivant, simply like any of our status updates before 9pm September 5th.
Between September 6, 2011 and September 13, 2011, your friends on Facebook will be able to vote for you on our page. The contestant with the most votes will win!
Entries will be accepted through September 5, 2011.

'Like' us and enter now!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back with a bite: Stuffed Peppers with Cheddar Cilantro Sauce

After a short hiatus (and much needed vacation), we're back! So let's jump right in!

I love peppers; especially when they're stuffed with delicious fillings. Cultures all over the world utilize peppers in this way. In Italy, bell peppers are stuffed with tomatoes, basil and garlic. In Greece, pepperoncinis are packed with capers, fish and mint. And in Mexico, poblanos are stuffed with pork, adobo and chili sauce.

Taking some inspiration from these dishes, this recipe is a mish mash of awesome. It can be made with bell peppers or poblanos depending on your desired heat level. And topping it off with a creamy cheddar sauce just makes it THAT much better.

Stuffed Peppers with Cheddar Cilantro Sauce


4 medium sized peppers
1/2 pound ground turkey (dark meat)
½ cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, diced
1 fresh jalapeno, minced with seeds (without seeds for less heat)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
½ tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sharp cheddar, finely shredded

Heat a griddle or grill on high heat. Cut the tops off the peppers, seed and core them, and place them open side down on the griddle. Pour about 4 tablespoons of water on the hot griddle every couple of minutes to add some steam to the cooking process.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and saute onion until slightly transparent. Add jalapeno, cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and ground turkey. Cook until browned and add red pepper.

In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat until bubbling slightly. Add flour and stir continuously until it forms a creamy paste. (This is also known as a roux.) Slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Add nutmeg and cheese while stirring and remove from heat once it has reached a thick consistency. Stir in fresh cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste.

Once peppers are fully grilled, stuff with ground turkey mixture. Serve with rice and pour cheese sauce over the peppers.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

German Potato Salad? Ja bitte!

I love Germany. Before I visited Bavaria, many of my friends joked that we would find nothing but sausage and kraut. Although that would have been fine with me, I found quite the opposite. There was a wide variety of traditional and international options. I have had "German Potato Salad" here in the states. But when I had it in Munich, it was entirely different. Somehow, when this dish made its way to America something got lost in translation.

On a dark and cold winter night, we trekked through the empty streets of Munich. When we came upon the Hirschgarten Biergarten, we thought it might be closed. The log cabin style building was almost ghostly in it's stillness. But as soon as we opened the door, the sounds of clanking steins and jovial conversation came pouring out.

Just sitting in that dimly lit room and smelling the aromas would be enough to drive any human to gluttony. But it was my first bite of REAL German potato salad that sent me into a full fledged foodgasm. Between that and the Schnitzel, I could have died happy right there.

So in honor of my German nostalgia, today's recipe is German Potato Salad. Enjoy and share the love!

German Potato Salad


4 large red potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1 medium yellow onion, julienned
5 - 7 slices of thick cut bacon
1/2 cup peas
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp brown mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp black pepper
nutmeg, whole (not ground)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot, boil potato cubes for 4 - 5 minutes or until al dente. Remove potatoes from boiling water and place in ice water for about 1 minute.

*Quick Tip: Make sure you do not cook the potatoes completely. The ice bath will quickly halt the cooking process.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until almost crisp. Remove bacon from pan but leave the grease in the pan. Place bacon on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 3 -5 minutes or until crisp. When bacon is finished, allow to cool and chop into small pieces.

In skillet with bacon grease, saute onions, garlic and peas until onion becomes almost transparent. Add potatoes and cook on high heat for 5 - 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain off grease and add bacon to mixture.

In a small bowl whisk together mustard, olive oil and pepper until well combined. Add to potato mixture and stir to coat. Salt to taste and grate just a dash of nutmeg over the top. Serve warm.